Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, November 14, 2014

Student Visas Threaten National Security

Student visas are essential to keep track of who enters and who leaves our country, so it’s no surprise that the government can’t get the job done. A recent report by ABC News highlighted the dangerous consequences. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement admitted to ABC that over 58,000 foreign students overstayed their visas last year, and of these, 6,000 are still wanted for questioning. As Senator Tom Coburn said, “They get the visas and they disappear.”

These 6,000 managed to escape due to a combination of lax federal oversight and willful abuse of the system. Many schools that accept overseas applicants are little more than visa mills that connect foreigners with the right paperwork to enter the U.S. A school named the MicroPower Career Institute just had its president indicted on visa fraud. Nevertheless, this school and others like it are still permitted to issue student visas, and government officials are giving even more schools the same authority. The feds leave it up to the schools to keep track of their student visa holders.

Terrorists exploit this foolish system. One of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers entered the country on a student visa and then never showed up for class. So did the terrorist who flew the plane into the Pentagon on 9/11. Afterwards, the 9/11 Commission urged the government to crack down on student visas, and 26 visa holders were arrested on terror-related charges. But between 2003 and 2012, the number of student visa holders in the U.S. nearly doubled, and a government watchdog found that ICE is still turning a blind eye to visa fraud. Since ICE won’t get its act together, Congress needs to curtail the student visa program before we pay a fatal price.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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