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National Review Online -- Ryan Lovelace

Because the rapid ascension of the Islamic State caught the federal government off-guard, American intelligence agencies don’t know enough about the group, James Chaparro says. The lack of intelligence has many ramifications, but chief among them, it has made it difficult for officials to effectively update the terrorist watch list to prevent terrorists from exploiting the visa-waiver program or applying for non-immigrant visas.

He’s not the first to sound the alarm about loopholes in the visa system. Ronald Colburn, a former director of law enforcement on the White House Homeland Security Council, told NRO in August that members of the Islamic State could use visa waivers to enter the U.S. “Members of Hamas, Hezbollah, and potentially in the near future, if not already, ISIS, [could come] over on visa waivers from places like Great Britain,” Colburn said. Many intelligence sources believe that the terrorist who beheaded American journalist James Foley has roots in Great Britain and, as a result, could enter the U.S. without a visa.

And if Islamic State extremists and sympathizers do enter the United States on visas, they may have little trouble staying undetected. Chaparro says the lack of interior immigration enforcement has caused terrorists to have little fear of being caught overstaying a visa.

Read the full article in the National Review Online

Interior Enforcement
visa overstays

Updated: Mon, Nov 10th 2014 @ 2:30pm EST