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Note to Obama, illegal immigration control is possible, just ask Saudi Arabia

November 13, 2010

30,000 cars with illegal Hajis turned away – Arab News.

The Haj is currently taking place in Saudi Arabia.  That is the yearly pilgrimage to walk in circles around a big black cube called the Kaaba.  Completing the Haj is one of the seven five pillars of Islam, so there is now wonder at the popularity this holy site receives every year.  So much so, people by the thousands illegally try to reach it.

Assistant Commander of the Haj Passport Forces Col. Owaid Al-Sahli said approximately 30,000 vehicles carrying unlicensed pilgrims have been barred from entering the holy city at 18 checkpoints situated at the entrances to Makkah since they were set up on Nov. 6.

Unlicensed pilgrims?  Interesting.  Why do you need a license.  Apparently, the Haj has become something like a trip to Disneyworld.  It is a multi-tiered system all designed to deliver the Haj experience to pilgrims.  The current cost varies depending on the amenities the pilgrim so desires, for example: [from the Jordan Times]

Class A, which includes five-star hotels that are in the immediate vicinity to the holy sites in Mecca and Medina, is the most expensive housing option.

Class B housing is located within one kilometre of the holy sites, while class C housing is up to two kilometres away, Roud said.

The cheapest option is Class D pilgrim housing, which is situated more than two kilometres away from the holy sites. However, shuttle buses will be available around the clock to transport pilgrims to and from the sites, according to Roud.

The costs for these permits vary, from SR2000 to as much as SR10,000 or $533.40 to $5334.00 respectively.  The requirements to receive a Haj visa for a foreigner is quite stringent, my favorite part: [from]

The applicant must be in possession of a non-refundable roundtrip ticket with confirmed reservations.

To translate, “you aren’t allowed to stay in the country after your pilgrimage is over.”

Back to the original article, a lot of the problems the Saudi government faces with respect to illegal Haj pilgrims sound eerily familiar to America’s illegal immigration problems:

Hundreds of Saudi and expatriate drivers have been detained for attempting to smuggle domestic pilgrims in car boots, trucks and buses. Foreign drivers were handed to the Passport Department for deportation. Saudis caught doing the same face prison time and fines.

Of course, it sounds like they are doing something about it.  Additionally:

Meanwhile, the Passport Department turned away 381 pilgrims who were attempting to enter the Kingdom with fake documents or counterfeit visas, Passports Department spokesman Lt. Col. Badr Muhammad Al-Malik said.

The recently implemented fingerprinting and photographing of those entering the Kingdom was cited as helping authorities identify people who have committed immigration infractions in the past.

Hmm, they actually use fingerprint technology to stop illegal immigrants?  What a novel concept.

I don’t normally look to Saudi Arabia in guidance for anything, but at least they are showing you can actually keep people out if you want to.  President Obama has such a grand fondness for our Muslim friends, maybe he can take a page from their book.  No Barry, I didn’t mean the Koran.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. JustFacts permalink
    November 14, 2010 12:44 am

    The thing about the Democrats is, they don’t want to keep them out. The illegal aliens are the Democrats biggest source of future voters. After Nov. 2, the illegals may be the largest voting block that are available. Already read where Obama is pushing to get the DREAM Act pushed through during the Lame Duck session.

    Check out DREAM Act Portal which is an organization/website pushing for the passage of this act to allow illegal aliens high school students to become US citizens. They actually want to assist them by having us pay their in-state college tuition to qualify. Sorry, meant to say undocumented students. We can’t use the term illegal because that has such a stigma to it, and makes it sound like they actually did something wrong. I guess in the liberal world, words DON’T have meanings.

    • November 14, 2010 12:59 am

      Yeah, the dream act is crap. You know it is when they try to tack it on to other bills. If its so great, try and pass it on its own.

      As far as the in state tuition for illegals, I don’t even know how they justify that one.

  2. November 14, 2010 12:14 pm

    For the record, Disneyworld also makes it pretty hard to get in without paying. We don’t need to look at Saudi Arabia for guidance, your average amusement park has this figured out. Maybe this is why I like Costco so much.

    • November 14, 2010 12:26 pm

      Yeah, but we have been taught business is evil and greedy. I thought it would serve a better purpose to recommend a country Obama has enormous love and respect for.

    • JustFacts permalink
      November 14, 2010 4:34 pm

      Interesting comment. You do know that both founders of Costco are BIG contributors to the Democrats and In 2008 Jim Sinegal, CEO of Costco, contributed over $150,000 to the likes of Obama, the DNC, Al Franken, John Edwards, etc. In 2004, he was a big supporter of John Kerry. When I found this out, I tore my Costco card up and sent it back to them with a letter stating that I appreciated his right to support whomever he chose, but that I vote with my pocketbook. When I found out who they supported, I could not in good conscience support their business. I have since, not set foot in a Costco or purchased anything from them online. I had been a member for many years, and The Price Club prior to the merger. I really liked the stores and the products. Much moreso than Sam’s Club. But, they lost me, and I switched over to BJs and then to Sam’s Club as BJs doesn’t have a store in my area. I’m sure that my little action didn’t have a significant impact, but the more that people learn about it, maybe they will get the message.

  3. Art Dent permalink
    December 10, 2010 5:57 pm

    I think everyone knows that it would be very much possible for the US to control illegal immigration if it really wanted to. The fact is, we’re very much a country that sympathizes with the immigrant mentality. This makes sense, as we are all descendants of aforementioned. My qualm is that this is unfair to those the immigrate here and go through the legal channels. I.e. immigrants that save up and invest 1M dollars to be part of the eb-5 visa program, and create 10 american jobs with the project their money goes toward. This doesn’t seem logical to me.

    • December 10, 2010 9:27 pm

      Thank you for commenting and I couldn’t agree more. Americans don’t have a problem with immigrants, because like you so aptly pointed out, most of us can trace some form of immigrant heritage. The problem we have is the free pass people get for completely ignoring our laws, and our politicians that are fully and wholly culpable in allowing it to happen.

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