Great news: Homeland Security can’t find 6,000 foreign nationals in US

posted at 10:01 am on September 2, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier, I noted that the UK at least had begun planning to deal with its hundreds of citizens who went to fight for ISIS while the US and other similarly-situated Western countries have mostly wrung their hands over the issue. The US has a potentially bigger issue, though, in dealing with foreign nationals studying here legally. ABC News reports that the Department of Homeland Security can’t find more than 6,000 people living here on student visas — which sounds awfully familiar:


Watch more news videos | Latest from the US

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.”

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.”

We are approaching the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11, and it’s apparent that we have learned nothing from the attacks. More than a third of flight schools accepting foreign students still don’t have FAA security certification to prevent terrorists from training for another suicide flight. Congress was supposed to fix the visa system — and not just for student visas — in the wake of the 9/11 Commission report, which emphasized the need for better tracking of overstays and prevention of these kinds of disappearances. Commission co-chair Thomas Kean says that almost literally nothing has been done since:

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 is certainly one word for it. Insane, suicidal, incompetent also come to mind. In part, the issue with visas has been caught up with comprehensive immigration reform, which has delayed any substantial action to fix the problem. The 9/11 Commission cited border security as another crisis that had to be resolved (on both borders, Canada as well as Mexico) after 9/11. All of these efforts have been stalled by political demands to include broad normalization and the lack of independent metrics for triggers to get to it. Congress should put aside the other immigration issues and deal with the national-security threats first, before we have to get taught the same lessons we should have learned thirteen years ago.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

foreign students coming to the U.S. — now in excess of one million each year.

This is the real problem. Why?

These foreign students are keeping Americans out of college.

faraway on September 2, 2014 at 10:05 AM

I’m sure we will learn of some of their locations next Thursday!!

Deano1952 on September 2, 2014 at 10:06 AM

Someone famously once said: “What difference, at this point, does it make”?

leftamark on September 2, 2014 at 10:06 AM

It’s because progressives like 0bama don’t want to interfere with their “rights.”

djl130 on September 2, 2014 at 10:07 AM

They took enough chemistry courses for their purposes.

RBMN on September 2, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Congress should put aside the other immigration issues and deal with the national-security threats first, before we have to get taught the same lessons we should have learned thirteen years ago.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Good one, Ed, good one!!

///

Bitter Clinger on September 2, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Great news: Homeland Security can’t find 6,000 foreign nationals in US

Hmmm, I thought there were over 12 million unidentified foreign nationals living in the shadows.

Oldnuke on September 2, 2014 at 10:10 AM

How about we stop letting in foreign students from islamic countries?

ConstantineXI on September 2, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Did they check the mosques?

Don L on September 2, 2014 at 10:12 AM

I’m sure we will learn of some of their locations next Thursday!!

Deano1952 on September 2, 2014 at 10:06 AM

Yep.

M240H on September 2, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Geez

And then we are adding millions of folks thrum amnesty on top of this boondoggle

Cripe

cmsinaz on September 2, 2014 at 10:14 AM

I’m sure we will learn of some of their locations next Thursday!!

Deano1952 on September 2, 2014 at 10:06 AM

Thread winner. (Unfortunately)

TXUS on September 2, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Congress was supposed to fix the visa system

Congress is supposed to do all sorts of things that have been neglected in favor of reelection campaigns, because of possible negative “optics”, or for the simple reason that we long ago decided as a nation to skip-over electing capable people and go with slick talking retards instead.

What…you expect the likes of Dick Durbin, Pelosi, or Graham to effectively manage this large complex nation? Those three combined could barely flip a light switch without electrocuting themselves.

Bishop on September 2, 2014 at 10:17 AM

We need to start treating these people like the criminals they are. Wanted posters and all. Generous bounties for whoever brings them in.

Or, as Schad is fond of saying, PC will kill us all.

CurtZHP on September 2, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Blame bush!!!!!!
-the left

cmsinaz on September 2, 2014 at 10:17 AM

You know who is to blame for this?….not President Obama. It is the do nothing liberal Democrats in Congress who’s PC crap stops anything from happening on immigration enforcement. The GOP needs to hang this around their necks in Nov.

Tater Salad on September 2, 2014 at 10:19 AM

I’m sure we will learn of some of their locations next Thursday!!

Deano1952 on September 2, 2014 at 10:06 AM

Former senator and now MN Governor Dayton is waaaaay ahead of you, he’s already built a fort in the coat closet of the governor’s mansion complete with pillow, a box of Saltines, a Hello Kitty flashlight, and a canteen of Hi-C.

Al Queada missed him back in 2001, ol’ Mark knows they’re still out there….still hunting him…still crawling up the walls of his house…ever dangerous.

Bishop on September 2, 2014 at 10:21 AM

That’s not all they couldn’t find.

TimBuk3 on September 2, 2014 at 10:21 AM

We need to start treating these people like the criminals they are. Wanted posters and all. Generous bounties for whoever brings them in.

Or, as Schad is fond of saying, PC will kill us all.

CurtZHP on September 2, 2014 at 10:17 AM

A little ethnic profiling might be in order.

Bitter Clinger on September 2, 2014 at 10:21 AM

He said was stunned the federal government continues to lose track of so many foreign nationals who had entered the country with student visas.

Jeez, you expect the federal bureaucracy to do everything?! They’ve got their hands full keeping track of those crazy Tea Party folks, you can’t hold them responsibly for being aware of Islamic terrorists too.

rbj on September 2, 2014 at 10:22 AM

National suicide with our own money doing it.

docflash on September 2, 2014 at 10:24 AM

Refresh my memory…wasn’t this an issue when the Boston bombers were busted?

leftamark on September 2, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Well, they have to keep feeding Big College. Those foreign nationals bring in some big bucks for the schools, which allow them to keep paying all those profs those huge salaries, so those profs can in turn brainwash their students about the evils of making money.

Politicians fix the problem? That might jeopardize their chance to secure a cushy, big money, university job in case they are ever sent packing from DC.

reaganaut on September 2, 2014 at 10:29 AM

These foreign students are keeping Americans out of college.

faraway on September 2, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Hey, they’re studying the coursework Americans won’t study.

MistyLane on September 2, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Odd that the billions we have spent so far on Homeland Security haven’t produced any systems to actually…you know… secure the homeland.

Do we really need Congress to pass legislation so Immigration can follow up on student visa holders?

The problem is that there aren’t enough laws yet?

Pull the other one: its got bells on.

Dolce Far Niente on September 2, 2014 at 10:31 AM

As another 9/11 rolls around, it’s good to remember some of these “students”, like the “children” from Central America going into grade school right now, are part of a grand old tradition going back, ah, yes, 13 years.

Do ya feel lucky, punk?

formwiz on September 2, 2014 at 10:31 AM

Did they check the mosques?

Don L on September 2, 2014 at 10:12 AM

That^

Did they actually check anywhere beyond, “Hey..you know where that guy is?..No? O.K. then, we can’t find him, darn it.”

Mimzey on September 2, 2014 at 10:32 AM

I’m pretty f*cking sick to death of this bullshit.

Midas on September 2, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Congress should put aside the other immigration issues and deal with the national-security threats first, before we have to get taught the same lessons we should have learned thirteen years ago.

Um…… That’s precisely what many of us have been demanding for all of those 13 years since the 9/11/01 atrocities. And everytime the issue comes up, the left along with the pro-amensty establishment republicans (including HA moderators) bundle the issue to include the illegal parasites already living here and begin lecturing the pro-border crowd on the best way to fast track amnesty- which is a totally separate issue.

Happy Nomad on September 2, 2014 at 10:32 AM

…the Department of Homeland Security can’t find more than 6,000 people living here on student visas…

Oh, they found one ‘student’ from Iran when something went wrong with the bomb he was working on and he blew himself up in his apartment. DHS said it appeared to be ‘suicide’.

One down…5,999 to go.

WhirledPeas on September 2, 2014 at 10:32 AM

caught up with comprehensive immigration reform

More excuses. Why? WHY? Can’t there be a simple vote on a simple, one paragraph bill?

Ask yourself why that is the case with every law. All this nonsense about horse-trading and such that goes on in Congress is bs. They choose to do nothing, to create problems, to drive campaign contributions and crony-capitalist / lobbyist dealings, which cause more problems…and the only ones who are consistently fleeced and endangered are the middle class

MistyLane on September 2, 2014 at 10:34 AM

The Boss Emeritus has been griping about the visa programs for almost thirteen years now. THIRTEEN YEARS.

How about we shut down all immigration NOW. We secure the border and deport everyone who is here illegally. Then we set up a system that actually tracks and visa holders, and applies immediate consequences (including deportation and perma-banning) to anyone who overstays or violates their visa conditions, without exception.

THEN we can open the borders up again to a reasonable number of immigrants, etc.

GWB on September 2, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Pretty such BO could fix this with his pen and phone. If he were so inclined.

Syzygy on September 2, 2014 at 10:35 AM

I’m pretty f*cking sick to death of this bullshit.

Midas on September 2, 2014 at 10:32 AM

this

MistyLane on September 2, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Refresh my memory…wasn’t this an issue when the Boston bombers were busted?

leftamark on September 2, 2014 at 10:27 AM

This was an issue when the 9/11/01 terrorists were in flight school learning how to fly, but not land, large commerical aircraft.

And BTW the ISO (Islamic States of Obama) is more than willing and able to attack the US homeland.

Happy Nomad on September 2, 2014 at 10:36 AM

We need to start treating these people like the criminals they are. Wanted posters and all. Generous bounties for whoever brings them in.

CurtZHP on September 2, 2014 at 10:17 AM

^^THIS^^

GWB on September 2, 2014 at 10:37 AM

So potentially thousands of Islamic terrorists are hiding & waiting in the US on expired visas, and all for immigration reform POLITICS! Thousands might die but democrats had to hold hostage visa and border control to one big immigration reform package to please their liberal base. It could have been taken care of piecemeal but what’s a few thousand murdered Americans compared to keeping the Latino vote?

Chessplayer on September 2, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Hey, they’re mostly OK. Prolly no more than a few percent of them mean us harm. Of course, out of 60,000 that could be hundreds of committed jihadi’s running around loose, but hey, who’s counting?

(Actually, one would suppose that in a self-selected group that has intentionally gone off the radar, there might well be a higher proportion of true believers…)

bofh on September 2, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Remember the good old days when the media would ask “are we safer”?

faraway on September 2, 2014 at 10:40 AM

I’ve seen some hanging around the airport!

sissi212 on September 2, 2014 at 10:41 AM

I bet if they targeted King Putz’s golf courses he would do something then.

steviecooper on September 2, 2014 at 10:43 AM

I’ve seen some hanging around the airport!

sissi212 on September 2, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Those are TSA agents.

WhirledPeas on September 2, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Remember the good old days when the media would ask “are we safer”?

Oh they are, checking my email this AM, I was greeted with stories of “How safe are we?” Of course they are all distracted by how safe are junk is in the cloud

That story will keep them occupied for a while…

reaganaut on September 2, 2014 at 10:45 AM

are junk

our junk.

reaganaut on September 2, 2014 at 10:47 AM

And in a related note, the local public schools started up today with an extreme emphasis on immunizations. We are told that there is no connection to this unprecedented push for immunizations and the fact there are dozens if not hundreds of illegal parasites in the local schools.

Happy Nomad on September 2, 2014 at 10:47 AM

dhs and its red headed bastard step child the tsa have always been useless.
just another way to waste money.

dmacleo on September 2, 2014 at 10:48 AM

the Department of Homeland Security can’t find more than 6,000 people living here on student visas

Remind me. Why do we have this agency? Is it because they are pricy?

Bmore on September 2, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Oh they are, checking my email this AM, I was greeted with stories of “How safe are we?” Of course they are all distracted by how safe our junk is in the cloud

That story will keep them occupied for a while…

reaganaut on September 2, 2014 at 10:45 AM

The reality is that the story is far bigger than a bunch outraged Hollywood people who have found their “junk” on full display. But all the other stuff that could have been (or was) compromised at the same time that nude selfies of “actresses” were being pulled down.

Any story that focuses on naked supermodels isn’t worth reading but there is a very real security threat behind the outrage when Lena Dunham of all people is upset- the woman pretty much goes topless whenever a camera is turned on.

Happy Nomad on September 2, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Heads better start rolling at Homeland Security. Don’t those boy know they have a reputation to uphold?

Herman (Tubby) Goring founded the Geheime Staatspolizei, and not Eric Holder, as he is wont to believe, but thanks to Holder, it has just had another reincarnation.

“6000″ missing foreign national. That would have been child’s play back in the Thirties – even thought prior to modern data processing.

But, I forgot, if it has anything to do with islam, not much effort will be assigned to tracking down, let alone rounding up.

dockywocky on September 2, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Now its “students.”

dockywocky on September 2, 2014 at 10:55 AM

6,000? Bet it’s more like 6,000,000…

right2bright on September 2, 2014 at 11:02 AM

More of that Smart Power Statecraft, that is the great and august strength of the Donkey Statesman Party. ( sarcasm, of course )

Swedish Patriot on September 2, 2014 at 11:03 AM

the Department of Homeland Security can’t find more than 6,000 people living here on student visas

Remind me. Why do we have this agency? Is it because they are pricy?

Bmore on September 2, 2014 at 10:50 AM

I remember a joke from several years ago, saying:
The FDA can track one cow with mad cow disease all the way back to his conception, but the immigration authorities can’t find 10 million illegal aliens; maybe we should put the FDA in charge of immigration.

GWB on September 2, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Well the media ask Obama about this ?? The demos think that another federal branch can take care of Obama care as well. Don’t you just feel real good about the feds taking care of us?

garydt on September 2, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Homeland Security can’t find 6,000 foreign nationals in US

Is there no one in charge?

NotEasilyFooled on September 2, 2014 at 11:19 AM

What…you expect the likes of Dick Durbin, Pelosi, or Graham to effectively manage this large complex nation? Those three combined could barely flip a light switch without electrocuting themselves.

Bishop on September 2, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Yet they have no problem electrocuting us politically. Go figure.

platypus on September 2, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Don’t worry the FBI/NSA will be right on the case as soon as they finish looking at celebrity nudes.

bsinc1962 on September 2, 2014 at 11:28 AM

BOHICA….

crosshugger on September 2, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Like it or not Islam is at war with everyone who is not Islamic.

Stop Muslim immigration for any purpose today. Stop training them and stop arming them, any of them.

jpmn on September 2, 2014 at 11:30 AM

The Department of Homeland Insecurity. There, fixed.

kjatexas on September 2, 2014 at 11:31 AM

These foreign students are keeping Americans out of college.

faraway on September 2, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Hey, they’re paying more for studying the coursework Americans won’t study.

MistyLane on September 2, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Hey, foreign students is quite a lucrative source of revenue for colleges or so I understand and fill up the schools such as science, medicine and engineering many Americans find too difficult, the studies which seriously cut into time for partying.

/SARC

hawkeye54 on September 2, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Homeland Security is far too busy looking for white parents taking pictures of their Chinese adopted girls as opposed to finding “foreign nationals” After-all these white parents might be sexually abusing their beautiful daughters they legally adopted!

Conservative4Ever on September 2, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Homeland Security can’t find 6,000 foreign nationals in US

Is there no one in charge?

NotEasilyFooled on September 2, 2014 at 11:19 AM

No, there isn’t. Just following the example of our president.

hawkeye54 on September 2, 2014 at 11:32 AM

You know who is to blame for this?….not President Obama. It is the do nothing liberal Democrats in Congress who’s PC crap stops anything from happening on immigration enforcement. The GOP needs to hang this around their necks in Nov.

Tater Salad on September 2, 2014 at 10:19 AM

How about on Sept 12, if the sh*t hits the fan on the 11th

txdoc on September 2, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Meant to include the link

Conservative4Ever on September 2, 2014 at 11:35 AM

The FDA can track one cow with mad cow disease all the way back to his conception, but the immigration authorities can’t find 10 million illegal aliens; maybe we should put the FDA in charge of immigration.

GWB on September 2, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Hmmm, I think its a matter of immigration authorities NOT WANTING TO NOR CARING to devote any resources to find millions of illegals.

Put the FDA in charge of immigration and you’d find it just as lax.

By design.

hawkeye54 on September 2, 2014 at 11:35 AM

52% of the population re-elected him. You think we have a chance?

celtic warrior on September 2, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Like it or not Islam is at war with everyone who is not Islamic.

Stop Muslim immigration for any purpose today. Stop training them and stop arming them, any of them.

jpmn on September 2, 2014 at 11:30 AM

THIS x1000.

But first we must have an Administration and associated bureaucracies that aren’t best friends of and infected with muslims out to change our Republic into a muslim dominate caliphate.

hawkeye54 on September 2, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Does everyone have their volunteering stint lined up for the American Day of Service coming up in 9 days?

/squirrel

cptacek on September 2, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Just strikes me as odd.

With more than 200,000 employees, DHS is the third largest Cabinet department, after the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

So 200,000 employees can’t locate 6000 illegals. What the heII do 200,000 employees do with their time? Fire em!

Bmore on September 2, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Oh, they found one ‘student’ from Iran when something went wrong with the bomb he was working on and he blew himself up in his apartment. DHS said it appeared to be ‘suicide’.

One down…5,999 to go.

WhirledPeas on September 2, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Link? Must have missed this one…

cptacek on September 2, 2014 at 11:57 AM

These foreign students are keeping Americans out of college.

faraway on September 2, 2014 at 10:05 AM
Hey, they’re studying the coursework Americans won’t study.

MistyLane on September 2, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Which is the sad truth. I was doing some genetic research recently, and pretty much the entire crew of post-graduate academic work is performed by foreigners.

Dittos with some advanced computer learning research, again, dominated by foreigners.

American kids view university as an entitlement to delay adult responsibility and most leave only knowing how to fornicate, binge drink and protest.

Reuben Hick on September 2, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Homeland Security can’t find 6,000 foreign nationals in US

But I’ll bet the know the location of everyone who ever sent money to a TEA Party candidate.

SailorMark on September 2, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Put the FDA in charge of immigration and you’d find it just as lax.

hawkeye54 on September 2, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Not if you told them they all had Mad Cow disease! (I do agree with your point)

Maybe if we convince DHS that while trying to find these illegals they will massively inconvenience and get to cavity search law-abiding citizens all over the country? Would that get them moving?

GWB on September 2, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Don’t worry these illegal aliens will be found at the bottom of tall buildings in Chicago, LA or Atlanta planting dynamite. They don’t give a damn about our laws, and know they can just be ignored, since even our government ignores the legal requirement to remove them from OUR soil, not theirs. Any terrorist with an ounce of sense will just cross the Mexican-US border and head to their desired destination. Come one, come all.

leader4hru on September 2, 2014 at 12:48 PM

most leave only knowing how to fornicate, binge drink and protest.

Reuben Hick on September 2, 2014 at 12:08 PM

And they’re not really any good at the first and last, either.

GWB on September 2, 2014 at 12:52 PM

American kids view university as an entitlement to delay adult responsibility and most leave only knowing how to fornicate, binge drink and protest.

Reuben Hick on September 2, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Dude, that is what going to U is for! And then easing into that six figure executive position with your easy as pie MA degree in Transexual Studies.

/SNARK

hawkeye54 on September 2, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Homeland Security can’t find 6,000 foreign nationals in US

And they aren’t even looking for the other 52,000.

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.

xblade on September 2, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Happy Nomad on September 2, 2014 at 10:36 AM

http://www.foxnews.compolitics20130507boston-probe-problems-student-visa-overstays

I just remember Janet Napolesbiano yammering on about how Homeland Security was going to start looking into this.
Ok, so it’s only been a year and a half…

leftamark on September 2, 2014 at 1:34 PM

So we have another thing O can blame Bush for !!

Let’s not forget O and staff have been in charge for 6 years. But, really, Bush and his new Homeland Security and FAA should have had all the procedures for monitoring/approving students and any other visa holders snugged down long ago.

P.S. Horse racing is big in the middle east. Also, remember seeing the ISIS guys riding horses thru their captured cities? Horseshoeing is still a trade they need over there.

KenInIL on September 2, 2014 at 2:42 PM

“In part, the issue with visas has been caught up with comprehensive immigration reform, which has delayed any substantial action to fix the problem.”

“We can’t do anything until we can do everything, and we can’t do everything because we haven’t got enough time. Whoops, sorry, gotta go. Late for a fundraiser.”

— Congress

wagnert in atlanta on September 2, 2014 at 8:55 PM