Good news and bad news about preventing terrorist infiltration into US

I've got good news and bad news about our efforts to prevent terrorists from getting visas to lawfully enter the United States.

The good news is, our world class vetting procedures have denied visas to 2231 people suspected of having terrorist ties since 2001.

The bad news is that same foolproof system allowed 9500 suspected terrorists to enter the country. That's the number of visas that have been revoked  since 2001 - after the visa holder had entered the US - because the holder had ties to terrorism.

Can it get any worse? Why yes. Yes it can.

When asked at a congressional hearing where those 9500 visa holders were today, the State Department bureaucrat's pithy response was "I don't know."

Yikes.

Washington Post:

An examination of State Department records by American Enterprise Institute researcher Justin Lang found that since 2001, the State Department had denied visas to just 2,231 individuals because the applicant was suspected of terrorist ties or activity. Yet during that same period, the State Department granted U.S. visas to 9,500 people who it later figured out posed a terrorist threat — and had to go back and retroactively revoke those individuals’ visas.

The means our screening system is so bad, it let through more than four times as many suspected terrorists as it stopped. If a National Hockey League goalie let in more than four times as many goals as he blocked, he would be fired.

And let’s be clear: Those 9,500 visa revocations are just the suspected terrorists we know about. How many more terrorists are out there who also beat our screening system but officials did not figure out their mistake and revoke the visas?

I can name at least one: Tashfeen Malik. She never had her visa revoked. We learned she was a terrorist only after she and her husband massacred 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif. She beat our screening system, got into our country and carried out a terrorist attack.

So did Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 2009 so-called underwear bomber who nearly blew up a plane over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009. His father walked into a U.S. embassy and reported that his son was involved with terrorists. Yet the Wall Street Journal reports that the State Department “didn’t revoke his visa after Mr. Abdulmutallab’s father alerted U.S. officials to his son’s potential radicalization.” How many more terrorist visa holders like Tashfeen Malik and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab are out there today?

Our screening system is badly broken, and we have an administration that is more concerned with enforcing political correctness than protecting the American people. We know that terrorists use social media to spread propaganda, recruit operatives and plan attacks. Yet MSNBC reports that in 2011, officials in the Department of Homeland Security proposed a policy of scouring social media of visa applicants to look for terrorist ties. The proposal went through a year-long review and was about to be issued as official policy — when it was quashed by senior officials.

They would never come out and say it, but it appears the Obama administration has accepted the notion that a few terrorist attacks a year can be accepted in the name of being faithful to our "values" - that is, not making Muslims feel bad by singling them out for special treatment. It's the ultimate triumph of political correctness over self-preservation.

If lying about the effectiveness of our vetting procedures is meant to assuage the fears of American citizens about admitting thousands of Syrian refugees, it's not working very well.

I've got good news and bad news about our efforts to prevent terrorists from getting visas to lawfully enter the United States.

The good news is, our world class vetting procedures have denied visas to 2231 people suspected of having terrorist ties since 2001.

The bad news is that same foolproof system allowed 9500 suspected terrorists to enter the country. That's the number of visas that have been revoked  since 2001 - after the visa holder had entered the US - because the holder had ties to terrorism.

Can it get any worse? Why yes. Yes it can.

When asked at a congressional hearing where those 9500 visa holders were today, the State Department bureaucrat's pithy response was "I don't know."

Yikes.

Washington Post:

An examination of State Department records by American Enterprise Institute researcher Justin Lang found that since 2001, the State Department had denied visas to just 2,231 individuals because the applicant was suspected of terrorist ties or activity. Yet during that same period, the State Department granted U.S. visas to 9,500 people who it later figured out posed a terrorist threat — and had to go back and retroactively revoke those individuals’ visas.

The means our screening system is so bad, it let through more than four times as many suspected terrorists as it stopped. If a National Hockey League goalie let in more than four times as many goals as he blocked, he would be fired.

And let’s be clear: Those 9,500 visa revocations are just the suspected terrorists we know about. How many more terrorists are out there who also beat our screening system but officials did not figure out their mistake and revoke the visas?

I can name at least one: Tashfeen Malik. She never had her visa revoked. We learned she was a terrorist only after she and her husband massacred 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif. She beat our screening system, got into our country and carried out a terrorist attack.

So did Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 2009 so-called underwear bomber who nearly blew up a plane over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009. His father walked into a U.S. embassy and reported that his son was involved with terrorists. Yet the Wall Street Journal reports that the State Department “didn’t revoke his visa after Mr. Abdulmutallab’s father alerted U.S. officials to his son’s potential radicalization.” How many more terrorist visa holders like Tashfeen Malik and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab are out there today?

Our screening system is badly broken, and we have an administration that is more concerned with enforcing political correctness than protecting the American people. We know that terrorists use social media to spread propaganda, recruit operatives and plan attacks. Yet MSNBC reports that in 2011, officials in the Department of Homeland Security proposed a policy of scouring social media of visa applicants to look for terrorist ties. The proposal went through a year-long review and was about to be issued as official policy — when it was quashed by senior officials.

They would never come out and say it, but it appears the Obama administration has accepted the notion that a few terrorist attacks a year can be accepted in the name of being faithful to our "values" - that is, not making Muslims feel bad by singling them out for special treatment. It's the ultimate triumph of political correctness over self-preservation.

If lying about the effectiveness of our vetting procedures is meant to assuage the fears of American citizens about admitting thousands of Syrian refugees, it's not working very well.