September 2, 2014, - 12:50 pm
6,000 Foreign Students “Of Heightened Concern” Missing in US: How Many From ISIS, Qaeda? 58,000 Student Visa Violators/Overstays
There are 58,000 foreign student visa holders who’ve violated their visas, and of those at least 6,000 foreign students are missing in the United States and have been determined by Homeland Security to be “of heightened concern.” That’s at least 6,000 potential terrorists in our midst. How many of them are from ISIS or Al-Qaeda?
Don’t forget that all of these visa violators would get amnesty under the proposals on which Barack Obama is considering taking executive action after the November elections. Also, don’t forget that Congress enacted law to computer track all of these student visa holders before 2000. But Republican Senator Spencer Abraham (Michigan) and Congressman Darrell Issa a/k/a “Jihad Darrell” (California)–both of them Arabs doing the bidding of Muslims–stopped the program in its tracks, with Abraham starving the program and refusing to fund it and Issa strongly opposing it. It bears noting that Abraham’s key staffer on the Senate Immigration Committee at all relevant times was Ann Coulter–yup, the same chick who pretends to be a hawk on immigration today but never was when it counted and she was in a key position to do something about it. And, as I noted on this site in 2011, the Obama Administration expanded the number of foreign students it refused to track.
9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour, who flew the plane that hit the Pentagon, was here on a student visa, but he never ever attended. Yet, he showed phony paperwork that indicated he attended class at a school in Oakland, California, where he claimed to be enrolled in ESL (English as a Second Language) courses. But, despite 3,000 American lives lost on that day, these scams continue unfettered. And, like I said, all of these visa scammers would be rewarded with amnesty under Obama’s post-November plans.
Even before 9/11 and ever since, I’ve highlighted many, many instances of Muslim foreign students in the U.S. who’ve gone missing for years and some of whom have turned up in what appear to be tests of the system and dry runs for terrorist attacks, such as this missing Saudi student who terrorized a Madison, Wisconsin hotel. And I’ve detailed the story of hundreds of Muslim aliens from Al-Qaeda splinter group Al-Shabab, who obtained green cards and citizenship through fraud, and whom Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can’t find and has never located. I’ve also written about schools that ran visa scams bringing foreigners here who never went to school and had no classroom experiences whatsoever, just like 9/11 pilot of death Hanjour.
That’s not to mention the California student who “attended class” and took tests for money, posing as mostly Middle Eastern, Muslim foreign students (and he even posed as female foreign students). ICE never found a lot of the student visa violators whose identities he assumed for money, while they disappeared into the great American abyss. Don’t forget, also, that in 2006, the FBI began “Project Strike Back,” an investigation into foreign student visa violators with ties to terrorism, who bilked federal financial aid programs to finance terrorism. The investigation started with much fanfare, but it was all for show and the FBI quickly abandoned it.
As I’ve asked many, many times over the years, why on earth are we considering troops on the ground over there (and why did we have thousands of troops on the ground over there for years) if we won’t fight to secure our borders over here? Now we see, as indicated in the scary report below, that the U.S. government continues to grant visas to foreign students going to schools that have a documented record of visa fraud, including beauty and massage schools. What exactly is the reason we are in desperate need of foreigners to come here to learn cosmetology and Shiatsu massage?
The Department of Homeland Security has lost track of more than 6,000 foreign nationals who entered the United States on student visas, overstayed their welcome, and essentially vanished — exploiting a security gap that was supposed to be fixed after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. “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.”
No kidding. And, yet, DHS and ICE–both of which have now been around for over a decade–have done little to nothing to fix this problem and close the gap. Nor has Congress. See my reference to Republicans Darrell Issa and Spencer Abraham, above. Plus Ann Coulter. Yes, Peter Edge, about whom I’ve heard good things, is new to his job as Director of Investigations for ICE, but his agency isn’t new to this problem and has a poor track record on it. As I’ve noted many times over the years, ICE rewards agents NOT for finding the missing illegal alien student visa violators, but for opening and closing files on them. A file can be closed whether or not the alien is found, which is ridiculous.
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.
“They just disappear,” said Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. “They get the visas and they disappear.”
Coburn said since the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, 26 student visa holders have been arrested in the U.S. on terror-related charges.
Hmmm . . . and, yet, what has grandstanding Coburn ever done to fix the problem. Nothing, nada, zilch. But, hey, he gets to whine about it on national TV without anyone ever calling him on his inaction.
Tightening up the student visa program was one of the major recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission, after it was determined that the hijacker who flew Flight 77 into the Pentagon, Hani Hanjour, had entered the U.S. on a student visa but never showed up for school.
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.
No sh-t, Sherlock.
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. 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.”
Again, this is NOTHING NEW. Where has Coburn been on this issue in the more than a decade he’s been in the Senate? What has he done about it? The problem has been consistent since before 9/11. And Hani Hanjour’s student visa scheme didn’t do a thing to spur anyone in the Senate or the House to change it.
One school on the approved list, MicroPower Career Institute, licensed by the state of New York, continues to have four campuses on the approved list, even though five of the school’s top officials — including its president — were indicted on charges of visa fraud in May. According to the indictment, 80 percent of the foreign students enrolled MicroPower had delinquent attendance, putting them out of compliance with their visas. But the school did not report them, the indictment says. All five school officials have pleaded not guilty in the case. ABC News visited MicroPower’s small fifth floor campus in a Manhattan office suite, but the school declined to make anyone available to comment.
Edge, who is Executive Associate Director at for ICE Homeland Security Investigations, said his agency had no choice but to continue to allow MicroPower to facilitate student visas. “I can only say that this is the United States of America and everyone has due process,” Edge said.
HUH? Puh-leeze. While I know Edge is not the lawyer who goes to court to stop them, ICE has an army of attorneys and it also works with the Obama Justice Department, another army of lawyers. Any of these lawyers could have gone to court and quickly obtained an order shutting down the school, just like we shut down charities suspected of funding terrorism. It’s that easy . . . if the Obama Administration wanted this to happen. It doesn’t–and this was the same case under Bush. Like I’ve been saying for over a decade now, America is like the Adam Ant song title, “Desperate But Not Serious.”
The MicroPower case is one of several that touch on broader questions long raised about the student visa program. Thomas Kean 9/11 Commission Co-Chair said the government has yet to address the security gaps the program has created. He said was stunned the federal government continues to lose track of so many foreign nationals who had entered the country with student visas. He noted that, even before the 9/11 terror attacks, federal officials had been aware of the gaps in the student visa program. 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.
“It’s been pointed out over and over and over again and the fact that nothing has been done about it yet… it’s a very dangerous thing for all of us,” Kean said. “The fact that there’s been no action on this is very bothersome.”
“Bothersome”? Uh, no, it’s far more than a bother. It’s alarming and outrageous. This is our national security . . . or, rather, absolute lack thereof.
ICE has taken steps to address the issue, especially in the aftermath of a damning report by the Government Accountability Office in 2012, which found the agency had failed to adequately police for visa fraud. ICE officials told ABC News, for instance, that it has undertaken a new program to deploy field representatives around the country to personally inspect schools that had been approved to accept foreign students. So far, 15 field representatives have been hired, with a plan to ultimately employ 60 around the country, according to spokesperson Carissa Cutrell.
Just 15, and ultimately only 60 representatives to police thousands of schools with over a million foreign students, including over 100,000 sponsored by Saudi Arabia in our country at one time. Good luck with that. It simply won’t even begin to stem the problem. It’s a drop in the bucket. Hundreds of ICE agents should be working on this, but few are. ICE prefers the limelight of nabbing child porn purveyors and consumers, something a gazillion other law enforcement agencies already do, and something that bears little connection to homeland security.
Edge said part of the blame for the continued trouble with the student visa program stems from a Congress that has been unwilling to impose tighter limits on schools — many of which profit from tuition paid by foreign students.
He is spot on about that, as I noted above.
Coburn, as well as Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Chuck Schumer, D-NY, were among those pushing for limiting ICE certification to accredited schools in 2012. But that effort stalled in the House of Representatives.
Um, 9/11 happened in 2001. Why did it take them so long to even try to address this issue, and what have they done to “unstall” it in the House other than minor grandstanding?
According to figures gathered by congressional investigators, the number of foreign nationals obtaining visas to study in the U.S. has grown from 662,966 in 2003 to more than 1.2 million in 2012. Edge said his agency has accepted that those numbers represent a continued challenge for the Department of Homeland Security.
And yet he only has a few agents and 15 field representatives working on the problem. Doesn’t sound like he or the Obama Administration or anyone in Congress really cares.
And they don’t.
So, while we worry about ISIS over there and sending terrorists back to our shores for attacks, we continue to ignore a giant hole that ISIS will exploit just as Al-Qaeda’s Hani Hanjour exploited it while he and the others were hatching the 9/11 attacks.
Like I said, America . . . “Desperate But Not Serious.”
Tags: foreign students, Hani Hanjour, ICE, Immigration, ISIS, Pete Edge, Pete Edge HSI, Pete Edge ICE, Peter Edge, Peter Edge HSI, Peter Edge ICE, student visa fraud, student visas, visa fraud