If it were not so deadly serious – and I mean deadly in the most literal sense of the word – we might all have a good laugh at the farce playing out in Washington. No, not the budget impasse, or the game of chicken over the debt ceiling. That other farce: the immigration reform debate. Specifically the part about how granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens will make us all safer because we’ll be bringing them out of the shadows, putting them through background checks and weeding out the terrorists, criminals and gang-bangers.

According to Kenneth Palinkas, the president of the union representing employees of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency (USCIS) – the folks who would allegedly be doing the weeding – we’re not even making a serious effort to keep out the bad guys now. Palinkas charges that USCIS employees are required by the agency “to grant immigration benefits to those who, under law, are not properly eligible.” Further, says Palinkas, USCIS workers are rubber-stamping approvals of applications for immigration benefits under orders from superiors to clear applications as quickly as possible.

In addition to the pressure from above, Palinkas claims that officers lack the ability to conduct in-person interviews with applicants for immigration benefits, and that they do not even have the computer software necessary to prevent dangerous people from gaining legal residency and citizenship.

This is the same agency, with the same political agenda, that would be tasked with – in the words of Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. – “identifying and conducting background checks on people here illegally” so that we can grant 11 million, or more of them, amnesty and “make America more secure.”

It’s hard to know whether we should laugh or cry.