Female San Bernardino shooter reportedly entered US on ‘fiance’ visa with …

6 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

California killing spurs concerns about fiance visa program.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The woman who carried out the San Bernardino massacre with her husband came to the U.S. last year on a special visa for fiances of U.S. citizens, raising questions about whether the process can adequately vet people who may sympathize with terrorist groups. Republicans on Friday called for a sweeping review of the country’s visa system after learning that the Pakistani-born woman in the husband-wife California terror team had pledged allegiance to ISIS on Facebook.San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook’s ability to bring a Pakistani wife to the country through an online relationship exposes loopholes in the U.S. immigration system terrorist organizations can capitalize on.

Tashfeen Malik was allowed into the United States from Saudi Arabia in July 2014 on a K-1 visa, which allows foreigners into the country to marry a US citizen, but requires them to get hitched within 90 days or get booted. Malik, 27, married Syed Farook, 28, and got a conditional green card this summer after she passed criminal and national security background checks and they proved their wedding was legit and not an immigration scam.

Malik was subjected to a vetting process the U.S. government describes as vigorous — including in-person interviews, fingerprints, checks against U.S. terrorists watch lists and reviews of her family members, travel history and places where she lived and worked. Luke Messer (R-Ind.), the GOP Policy Committee chairman, told The Hill, a Web site that covers politics. “In light of the renewed terrorist threat, we need to take a look at our entire visa program to enhance our national security. Citizenship and Immigration Services or when she became radicalized. “This is not a visa that someone would use because it is easy to get into the US, because there are more background checks on this type of visa than just about anything else,” said Palma Yanni, a Washington-based attorney who has processed dozens of K-1 visas. “But fingerprints and biometrics and names aren’t going to tell you what is in somebody’s head unless they somewhere have taken some action.” The government’s apparent failure to detect Malik’s alleged sympathies before the shootings will likely have implications on the debate over the Obama administration’s plans to accept Syrian refugees. In response to a question about the ABC report, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said: “We are actively reviewing all of the information provided in the visa application and sharing it with our interagency partners as it relates to the investigation.” “Uncle Sam just looks on as an approving cupid and doesn’t pay as much attention as he should to the issuance of these visas,” said David North, a senior fellow with the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for stricter immigration policies.

Refugees also submit to in-person interviews overseas, where they provide biographical details about themselves, including their families, friendships, social or political activities, employment, phone numbers and email accounts. There is always room for improvement, but to indict the entire fiance visa system because of this is not the right path,” said David Leopold, a past president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Kuko said he never met Malik because the party was divided into separate spaces for women and men. “She never came to our mosque except once when they had their reception, and that night there were so many people around, my wife doesn’t recall exactly how she looks or who she is,” Kuko said. “We never saw her again.” “We really don’t know anything about that sister,” Khaled Zaidan, chairman of the board of directors of the Islamic Community Center of Redlands, said. “It really is a mystery what happened on Wednesday, how a woman could drop off a 6-month-old and commit a horrific crime killing all those innocent people.”

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