[Guest post by DRJ]
The State Department under Secretary of State Colin Powell refused to implement a 2003 anti-terror recommendation that would have barred aliens from states that support terrorism from obtaining diversity visas:
“Nearly 10,000 foreigners from states sponsoring terrorism have obtained permanent residency in the United States in the past seven years, congressional investigators say. The State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs did not implement a recommendation to bar aliens from those countries, says the report from Congress’ Government Accountability Office. The GAO focused on the issue after the State Department inspector general pointed to the risk in allowing foreigners from countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism to obtain visas under the special diversity visa program.”
This issue came to light with the September 21, 2007, release of a GAO report that catalogs the security risks of diversity visas:
“In a 2003 report on the DV program, the State IG noted that, while aliens from state sponsors of terrorism can only be issued nonimmigrant visas in limited circumstances, no parallel restriction exists for diversity visas. Because of this, and because of the program’s vulnerability to fraud, the State IG said the DV program contained significant risks to national security from hostile intelligence officers, criminals, and terrorists attempting to use the program for entry into the United States as permanent residents.
The State IG recommended that the Bureau of Consular Affairs propose changes to the INA to bar aliens from state sponsors of terrorism from the DV application process. Consular Affairs agreed with the recommendation in principle but did not implement it, expressing concern over the effect of permanently disbarring aliens who may be fleeing oppressive regimes of states that sponsor terrorism. The IG later agreed to close the recommendation although it had not been implemented.”
America must show compassion for people in need of asylum but, after 9/11, I hoped the American government would show compassion for the home folks, too.