Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, December 26, 2014

Student Visas Threaten National Security

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

Those 6,000 managed their 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 paperwork to enter the U.S. The president of a school named the MicroPower Career Institute was just 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 that same visa authority. Once here, the feds leave it up to the schools to keep track of their visa holders.

Terrorists know they can exploit this foolish system, and they already have. One of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers entered our country on a student visa and 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 arrested on terror-related charges. But between 2003 and 2012, the number of student visa holders in the U.S. nearly doubled, and government agencies still turn a blind eye to visa fraud. Congress should curtail the student visa program before we pay another fatal price.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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