Visas - an alphabet soup mismatch from A to Terrorism

The national security implications of inadequate visa management have been covered by the media recently, as well they should be. In particular, Tashfeen Malik, one of the two Muslims who perpetrated the December 2, 2015 San Bernardino Islamic terrorist attack, entered the U.S. on a K-1 "fiancé" visa. Subsequent investigation revealed that the Pakistani hometown address she listed on her visa application does not exist. And incidentally, she was a terrorist.

The marriage visa is pretty much an open door into America. The Center for Immigration Studies identified several pertinent points regarding marriage visas:

  • Marriage to an American citizen remains the most common path to U.S. residency and/or citizenship for foreign nationals.
  • More than 25 percent of all green cards issued in 2007 were to the spouses of American citizens.
  • Despite these statistics, marriage fraud for the purpose of immigration gets very little notice or debate in the public arena.
  • An overwhelming percentage of all petitions to bring foreign spouses or fiancés to the United States illegally (or to help them adjust visa status if they are already in the United States on non-immigrant visas) are approved - even in cases where the couple may only have met over the Internet, and may not even share a common language.
  • Marriage to an American is the clearest pathway to citizenship for an illegal alien
  • The decision-making authority for green card applications lies with USCIS officials who rely almost exclusively on documents, records, and photographs, with little opportunity for interviews or investigations... 

That's just the tip of the iceberg!

Most Americans aren't aware of the multitude of visa categories available to aliens who wish to enter the United States. It's quite literally an alphabet soup. The problem is that it's hard to know what's in it - the ingredients are very difficult to manage.

Visas are categorized according to an astounding 69 subclasses, which are organized under 21 larger classes. Here is the seemingly endless morass of current visa categories:

A-1, A-2, A-3; B-1, B-2; C-1, C-2, C-3; E-1, E-2, E-3; F-1, F-2, F-3; G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, G-5, GT; H-1B, H-1-B1; H-1C, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, H-4; I-1; J-1, J-2; K-1, K-2, K-3, K-4; L-1, L-2; M-1, M-2, M-3; N-1, N-2, N-3, N-4, N-5, N-6, N-7; O-1, O-2, O-3; P-1, P-2, P-3, P-4; Q-1; R-1, R-2; S-1; T-1, T-2, T-3, T-4, TD, TN; V-1, V-2, V-3; WB, WT.

The Center for Immigration Studies notes that there is a huge discrepancy in denial/approval rates between categories, and points out three dominant patterns in these programs:

  • the more populous the category, the higher the percentage of illicit use;
  • the higher the income of the applicants, the lower the incidence of ineligibility; and
  • to the extent that governmental entities, other than State, also screen the applications, the lower the incidence of fraud.

There's more!

The Visa Waiver Program was created at the bidding of the Chamber of Commerce. The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows visitors from 38 countries with low rates of visa refusals to be admitted to the United States without applying for a U.S. visa.

According to retired Senior Special INS agent Michael Cutler:

Even after the 9/11 Commission identified the visa process as being too lax, rather than ending the wrong-headed Visa Waiver Program...

If you wonder why in the world the dangerous Visa Waiver Program was expanded and not terminated after the terror attacks of 9/11 and the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission were made public, identifying immigration failures as directly contributing to the ability of terrorists to enter the U.S. and embed themselves in the U.S., the answer can be found in a three word program, the Discover America Partnership. The organization that is leading the charge to push this lunacy is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has partnered with executives of the hotel, hospitality, and travel industries, along with some manufacturing industries, to dictate national security policies.

Congress has set up the visa program to fail. No matter whether deliberately or inadvertently, it must be changed - for the better. Not next year. Now. National security is paramount.

If the United States isn't going to adequately vet aliens who wish to enter our country, who will - the United Nations? Now that would be truly nuts.


CAIRCO research

Visa Waiver Program

Visa overstays

Visa Diversity Lottery

Syrian refugees and national security

Islamic terrorism and ISIS

Refugee resettlement