- The Washington Times - Friday, February 26, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

All of the Sept. 11 terrorists and the Christmas Day bombing suspect were issued visas by U.S. consular officers in the Middle East or Europe.

Before the Immigration Act of 1996, foreigners who were a security risk were denied tourist, student and business visas to the United States. This 1996 legislation was enacted into law by members of both major political parties and signed by the president.

Sponsored by the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who wrote immigration legislation for 40 years, the Immigration Act stated that “mere membership” in a terrorist organization was not a sufficient basis for denying an applicant a visa. On June 10, 2002, then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage wrote that believing “an applicant may pose a threat to national security … is insufficient grounds for a consular officer to deny a visa to an applicant.”

If our national leaders were serious about preventing terrorist acts by those who have stated that they want to destroy America and Israel because we are sinners for not converting to Islam, they would revoke the Immigration Act of 1996 and stop issuing visas to those who have stated and preached that they are serving God by killing Christians and Jews.

MARGARET NAST

Las Cruces, N.M.

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