In light of the terrorist attack in Boston earlier this week, I
wanted to write about security at Immigration Courts, USCIS, and the
Asylum Offices.

As of this writing, we don't know who perpetrated the attack on the
Boston Marathon. But we do know that as residents of a free society, we
are vulnerable. We also know that people who would harm others have all
too easy access to powerful weapons: guns, explosives, you name it.

Don't forget to thank the people who keep us safe.

In the context of immigration, there are those in our society who not
only oppose immigration and immigrants, but who hate foreigners and
would do them--and the Americans who work with them--harm. Behind such
people are others--people who would not engage in physical violence
themselves, but who encourage such behavior in others with their racism
and xenophobia. For these people, their hate is matched only by their
dishonesty. Because if a person is honest, and considers perspectives
other than his own, it is hard to hate. I am thinking about people like
Pam Geller, who says that all Muslims are terrorists and "savages," Lou
Dobbs, who claims that illegal immigrants bring bubonic plague, and Pat
Buchanan who is fighting to preserve white America (ok, I admit to a
soft spot for Pat Buchanan; at least he is entertaining). But I digress.

For the small number of people who might consider attacking
immigrants and "the system," Immigration Courts, USCIS, and the Asylum
Offices are potential targets.

Of course, such offices are part of the federal government, protected
by armed guards and metal detectors. Before this week, I hadn't given
it much thought. Mostly, I assumed that the security officers were there
in case an immigrant becomes violent (or, perhaps more likely, a lawyer
becomes violent and decides to clobber his client). But in the
aftermath of the Boston attack, I am reminded that the officers are
there to protect the immigrants, their advocates, and government
employees from harm.

I suppose it is an obvious point, but for busy people (like me) who
view the security checks as a nuisance, it is important to remember how
essential they are. Also, lest anyone thinks security officers at the
Immigration Courts (and elsewhere) don't put their lives on the line,
check out this virtual tribute to private security officers killed in the line of duty.

Today, I passed through three different check points--at my
son's day care (he's in a federal building), the Asylum Office, and the
Immigration Court. I try to be friendly to the officers whenever I see
them and to thank them, but it's not always easy when I am rushing from
one place to the next. Today, I tried to make a special effort to
express my thanks, and going forward, I will try to be better about
that. So, to the extent that anyone pays attention to what I write here,
I'd like to say to the security officers who protect us: Thank you.

Originally posted on the Asylumist: