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Visa Security Policy: Roles of the Departments of State and Homeland Security
Ruth Ellen Wasem (au)
The case of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who allegedly attempted to ignite an explosive device on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Dec. 25, 2009, has refocused attention on the responsibilities of the Depts. of State and Homeland Security (DHS) for the visa process. He wastraveling on a multi-year, multiple-entry tourist visa issued to him in June 2008. State Dept. officials have acknowledged that his father came into the Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, on Nov. 19, 2009, to express his concerns about his son, and that those officials at the Embassy in Abuja sent a cable to the National Counterterrorism Center. State Dept. officials maintain they had insufficient information to revoke his visa at that time. Contents of this report: (I) Introduction; (II) Overview on Visa Issuances: Immigrant Visas; Nonimmigrant Visas; (III) Statutory Basis of Current Visa Policy: Immigration and Nationality Act; Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002; §428 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002; Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004; (IV) Consular Screening Procedures; (V) Visa Revocation; (VI) DHS Visa Security Program (VSP); (VII) Current Issues: Competing Interests; Acceptance of VSP in Consular Posts; DOS Visa Processing and Security Funding; DHS VSP Funding. Appendices: (A) Legislative History of the Visa Functions in the Homeland Security Act of 2002; (B) Legislation on the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Pertaining to Visa Security. Tables.
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