Thursday, March 25, 2010

How Terrorists Get Here

It has come out that the Christmas Day Bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, had his application for a visitor's visa in 2004 originally denied by a Department of State Consular Officer, but the officer was over-ruled by his supervisor, and Adulmutallab was issued a visa, a visa which he used to attend a terrorist support group meeting in Houston.

This comes as no surprise, since that is usually how terrorists and illegal aliens enter the country. They are in many cases denied benefits, such as visas, or denied entry at a Port-of-Entry by a Customs and Border Protection Officer, or denied a benefit by an Immigration Services Officer at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. However, it is just as usual for a supervisor at all of those organizations to overturn a decision and give a benefit to the illegal alien, whether it is a visa, entry to the U.S. or adjustment in the U.S.

USCIS, DOS, and CBP have one mission only, to give benefits to aliens. CBP is not concerned with stopping terrorists, illegal aliens or nuclear weapons entering the United States, but with wait times at the border. USCIS is only concerned about taxpayers footing the bill for aliens, not terrorism. And, of course, the Department of State gave us the 9/11 killers as well as the Christmas Day Bomber. Obviously it will be no solution to give the visa issuing authority to DHS as they are part of the problem.

So you think your government cares whether you live or die? Think again. But at least everyone will have healthcare coverage for when the next attack comes.


Consul-At-Arms said...

Normally, a consular supervisor will only override the visa decision of a subordinate if the adjudicating officer made a mistake in applying the law or implementing regulations. That appears to be what happened in this instance, although I don't have first-hand knowledge in this particular instance.

Consular officers are charged with facilitating _legitimate_ travel when performing the visa function, while applying the laws and regulations intended to secure U.S. borders. They must apply the law as it's written and not as they'd like to be written.

Federale said...

Well, I would say attending a subversive meeting is not legitimate, but in any event how can one issue a non-immigrant visa to an alien without employment or other ties to his country of citizenship or residence? That should have been a refusal based on his inability to overcome status as an intending immigrant. No job, unmarried, even if daddy is a corrupt millionaire, that should have been an easy one. Of course, CBP should have refused him at the airport as well.

More likely daddy pulled some strings as I know for certain that supervisors seldom overturn decisions. There most likely was a back door inquiry and complaint.

Consul-At-Arms said...

From what I'm reading in the news, the supervisor may have overturned an improperly applied finding of ineligibility relating to the applicant's not disclosing a previous visa refusal. Since the routine namechecks available to the adjudicator would reveal that, the omission from the application isn't considered to be material to the decision.

Your point about him overcoming the presumption of intending immigration is quite correct, nonetheless. That's a judgment call. And when a consular supervisor takes over a case, as in when they're correcting an improperly applied finding of ineligibility, they now _own_ the case, and get to decide the rest of it as well. They're not supposed to kick it back to the original interviewer.

Federale said...

Why am I not shocked to find out lying about a previous denial is not material. Strange definition of materiality and his lies were certainly indicative of the validity of the rest of his anwsers.

Federale said...

Still it does not explain how he got access to a supervisor. I am sure they are much too busy for every complaint from every Tom, Dick and Harry. I still believe that there were some strings pulled by daddy.

Consul-At-Arms said...

My training, and the feeling of a lot of consular officers, is that being deceptive on your application or in your interview does not reflect well on an applicant's credibility about any other aspects of their intended travel plans, such as purpose, duration, &tc. So that finding them ineligible under INA Sec. 214(b) may well be appropriate.

Philosophically, it is sometime appropriate to to attribute such ommisions to incompetence or stupidty on the part of the applicant rather than malice, that is someone not understanding the questions or the application form, or unfamiliar with using computers to complete the application forms.

Or whose forms were prepared by some helpful idiot at the local internet cafe.

But that wouldn't appear to apply to a bright young university engineering student who'd attended English language schools growing up.

Federale said...

Have I convinced you? I am not sure. Well, anyway, I see similar cases from the landward side. Aliens who had "friends" or travel agents, or whoever, fill out their IV forms and claim that that the question about being married was an error, or they forgot, or someone else filled it out. Clearly lies.