Did the Times Square Suspect Game the Immigration System?
Questions surrounding the Times Square bombing suspect’s path to U.S. citizenship have already spurred some national security hawks to attack the country’s immigration and entrance policies. Authorities never flagged Shahzad for review, and it’s still unclear exactly when he had become radicalized against the U.S. But his arrest has prompted right-wing activists and bloggers to renew their calls for clamping down on foreigners trying to enter the country and become U.S. citizens.
Shahzad had become a naturalized citizen a year ago after marrying an American citizen in 2008, following a decade of staying in the country on both student and work visas. Calling Shahzad’s route a “tried-and-true terror formula,” Michelle Malkin declares that “jihadists have been gaming the sham marriage racket with impunity for years.” Malkin writes:
And immigration benefit fraud has provided invaluable cover and aid for U.S.-based Islamic plotters…Jihadists have knowingly and deliberately exploited our lax immigration and entrance policies to secure the rights and benefits of American citizenship while they plot mass murder -- and we haven't done a thing to stop them.
Similarly, a story at Fox News suggests that the citizenship application process isn’t rigorous enough and fails to ask sufficient questions about travel history and relying too much on an individual applicant’s honesty. “[I]f they've lied to get into the United States before, they are unlikely to admit it during the naturalization process,” argues Fox News.