State Dept and DHS agree: It’s someone else’s responsibility to keep terrorists from getting visas
posted at 6:30 pm on September 26, 2007 by Bryan
Your government at work, passing the buck.
The State Department and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) both are rebutting a Government Accountability Office report released last week that said the U.S. government is not adequately vetting immigrants, including those from terrorism-sponsoring countries, who win Diversity Visas (DVs).
Both agencies also disclaimed ultimate responsibility for that vetting process.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) report said that because of identity fraud and lack of adequate and trustworthy databases, the Diversity Visa program is a national security risk.
The report cited one State Department cable, sent from a U.S. consulate in Bangladesh, which called the program an “open door” for terrorists to enter the United States as immigrants with legal permanent-resident visas.
The Diversity Visa sounds like PC run amok. Which, it turns out, is exactly what it is.
Congress created the Diversity Visa Program in 1990. It was designed to increase immigration to the United States from nations that historically have sent small numbers of immigrants to America.
The State Department, which administers the program, is authorized to distribute 50,000 Diversity Visas each year, which are awarded via a lottery to aliens who have registered for the program.
Citizens from countries that have sent less than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. over the last five years are eligible. This includes citizens from all five nations listed by the State Department as terrorism sponsors: Iran, Syria, Sudan, North Korea and Cuba.
Now, to the buck passing.
After examining the Diversity Visa program as implemented at 11 U.S. consular posts, the GAO discovered that at six of them, State Department personnel had difficulty actually identifying who the would-be immigrants were…
When asked how the State Department could be sure it was not granting DVs to terrorists – given what was reported by the GAO – State Department spokesman Tom Casey said the DHS, rather than the State Department, had responsibility for preventing terrorists from getting Diversity Visas.
“We issue the visa,” Casey told Cybercast News Service . “If you wish to apply for a visa, you apply with Homeland Security. We are basically the last step in the process. But the entire rest of the process is something handled by Homeland Security.”
A spokesman at Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services division had a different story.
When asked about vetting the background of Diversity Visa applicants to make sure they are not terrorists, spokesman Chris Bentley said, “The State Department would have to talk to that issue. We just adjust the status of Diversity Visa recipients once they’re already here applying for permanent legal status.”
Great. Between these two incompetent agencies slip Hezbollah’s point men.