"My greatest concern is that they could be doing anything," said Peter Edge, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official who oversees investigations into visa violators. "Some of them could be here to do us harm."This is a protect the border issue and according to Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) since the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, 26 student visa holders have been arrested in the U.S. on terror-related charges.
Homeland Security officials disclosed the breadth of the student visa problem in response to ABC News questions submitted as part of an investigation into persistent complaints about the nation’s entry program for students.
ABC News found that immigration officials have struggled to keep track of the rapidly increasing numbers of foreign students coming to the U.S. -- now in excess of one million each year. The immigration agency’s own figures show that 58,000 students overstayed their visas in the past year. Of those, 6,000 were referred to agents for follow-up because they were determined to be of heightened concern.
Edge said ICE agents are trying to locate every one of the 6,000 missing students, but acknowledged that “we really have a lot more work to do” to tighten up the student visa program.Maybe that is why Obama plays so much golf, he is checking out all of those people overstaying their golf visas.
Despite repeated concerns raised by Congress, federal immigration officials have also continued to grant schools certification to accept overseas applicants even if the schools lack accreditation, state certification, or any obvious measure of academic rigor.
There are now more than 9,000 schools on the government approved list. The list includes such top flight American colleges as Harvard and Yale, but it also includes 86 beauty schools, 36 massage schools and nine schools that teach horseshoeing. Foreign students can enter the U.S. on a visa to study acupuncture, hair braiding, or join academies that focus on tennis and golf.
Once the student arrives in the U.S., it is up to the schools to keep track of the visa-holder’s whereabouts -- and report to the government if they repeatedly miss class.The fact this visa issue has not been fixed is astounding. Bush didn't fix it and now Obama hasn't fixed it. As the report reminds us the man who drove the van containing explosives into the World Trade Center garage in 1993 was also a student visa holder who was a no-show at school. The terrorist who flew a plane into the Pentagon also was a visa no-show.
That is a serious concern, Coburn said, because a number of for-profit schools appear to have been operating with a primary goal of selling visas, not educating students.
“We know we have a lot of non-accredited universities that are using this system to bring people in, collect money, and not educate them at all,” said Coburn, who is part of a bi-partisan group of senators that has been trying to tighten controls on student visas. “To me, it’s a mess.”
Rachel Banks, the director of public policy for NAFSA, the association of international educators, said her group has been working to promote opportunities for foreign study in the U.S. She said the group understands the need to monitor the arrival and departure of foreign nationals, but it should not come at the expense of legitimate applicants seeking to study in America.
But people who overstay their visa or come in on a student visa but don't go to school ARE a threat. Does it really take another 3,000 dead for people to realize that? This is not about scapegoating it is about protecting Americans.“Students should not be scapegoated,” Banks said. “Foreign students are an asset and not a threat.”
This is idiotic. Why are we wasting time whining about a comprehensive immigration policy instead of protecting the citizens in this country? We need to seal our borders and soon, not only the southern border but the northern one also. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi made a wrong turn and accidentally crosses the border into Mexico; he has been in a Mexican jail for five months so far because he had firearms with him (which he immediately declared). The United States on the other hand has no idea who is coming in, out, or staying in the country and what they have with them. Of course the vast majority of those "missing" visa students are here with good intent, however it just takes one with nefarious intent to cause a major tragedy.
According to the "social contract" between governments and their populace the number one job of a government is to protect its citizens. The fact that DHS has "lost" more than 6,000 foreigners who have overstayed their visas as well as the other sealing the border issues is a major failure of our government ---both parties. This should be the number one domestic issue above everything else. Minimum wage doesn't matter when your body parts are splattered throughout the neighborhood.
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air seems even angrier than I am...read his post here.
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