The world has changed — and not for the better. Ten years ago, news that an illegal alien planned to bomb the U.S. Capitol would have triggered a searching public inquiry into the policies that allowed this person to remain here “out of status” for so many years. Why, reporters would have asked, was this person allowed to remain in the U.S. so many years after a visa expired?

Not anymore, it seems. In their quest to protect this administration’s attack on virtually all interior immigration law enforcement, news outlets have failed completely to protect the public and ask why an illegal alien from Morocco named Amine El Khalifi — who was arrested Friday and charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction — was never identified and removed from the United States. The cable networks should be asking what must change to prevent a recurrence. After the 9/11 attacks, there were calls for an entry-exit system, robust interior enforcement, state-local cooperation and stepped-up document security. A commission laboriously studied the loopholes that allowed the hijackers to enter and remain — recommendations were issued and ignored.

On 9/11, the pain was acute for me — FAIR had pushed for years to close the loopholes that the hijackers used. FAIR had tried over and over again to alert the public to the fact that our poorly policed immigration system was a threat to homeland security. After 9/11, I said to myself, “finally, those interests and organizations that have pushed the loopholes — especially those who opposed interior enforcement and state-local cooperation during the Clinton Administration — would be put in their place.” Not so, it seems. In 2012, they are right back at it; the only difference is we now have an administration made up of opposition groups and individuals — people whose sole desire is to block nearly all meaningful immigration enforcement. And a pliant media willing to look the other way so one party can push amnesty and polarize the electorate over the supposed “Latino vote.”

The media are very obliging. There has been no discussion about why Amine El Khalifi was allowed to overstay a visa. It’s now accepted as a matter of course. This was not the case even ten years ago: no longer can journalists be expected to help the public understand the dangerous weak spots in America’s immigration control system.

This should not be happening, but FAIR is again working to alert the American people: The American people need to know that someone without a known criminal record can enter the U.S. on a visitor visa and remain forever — regardless of when the visa expires. The Executive Branch has failed the people. Need to build a terror cell? Just deploy foreign visitors without criminal records. No doubt it’s happening right now. The administration’s strategy is to let anyone come in and hope they can identify those with a pre-disposition to attack America after the fact via a string operation. This is a slim reed on which to pin America’s security. Better to enforce effective immigration controls at the outset. How many will have to die before this madness stops?