If this headline sounds like something out of The Onion, you’ll be distressed to learn that it’s not satire. The Obama administration has misplaced 6,000 foreign students here on special visas. Not only is this disturbing from a confidence-in-government perspective, but it raises some serious questions about the safety and security of our country. How is it that a mistake of this proportion can be allowed to happen?
Peter Edge of ICE told reporters at ABC News that he was concerned those 6,000 missing students could be doing anything. “Some of them could be here to do us harm.”
And that’s really what it comes down to, doesn’t it? An administration willing to bend over backwards to make sure illegal immigrants feel comfortable in their new home, but utterly unwilling to provide the kind of national security the ever-present threat of terrorism requires. An administration that can use the IRS to target political opponents but can’t seem to make the tough calls necessary to keep dangerous Islamic extremists out of the country. It doesn’t take a massive, clandestine attack on privacy to keep terrorism at bay, but it does require a certain amount of vigilance. It certainly requires competency. Unfortunately, the current government has not been known for the former, and the federal government has never been known for the latter.
The 6,000 missing students aren’t the only problem. According to ABC, nearly 60,000 students overstayed their visas in the last year alone. Beyond the unacceptable policies of this White House, it is immensely discouraging to see this kind of asleep-at-the-wheel governance. Yet, it is the same principle of government we see in every area. It’s how the Veterans Administration debacle happened. It’s how the IRS scandal happened. It’s why President Obama got up in front of the country, shrugged his shoulders, and declared that his administration couldn’t come up with a strategy for ISIS.
Right now, more than 9.000 schools accept applications from those wishing to come from abroad to study. These schools are trusted to keep tabs on their foreign students and report any failures to attend class. Unfortunately, this system isn’t working. Officials in the know say there is widespread abuse down the chain, and that many schools are unaccredited diploma mills that hold no classes at all.
Missing student visa holders are not a benign threat. 26 individuals holding said visas have been arrested in the years following 9/11. In their report on the disaster, the 9/11 Commission actually recommended that something be done to tighten the program. If any improvements have been made in the system, however, it seems clear that there is still work to do. Perhaps the time is right to suspend the program until we can get our crap together.