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Diploma Mills Facilitating Terrorist Infiltration?

The Counterterrorism Blog's Michael Cutler adds some first hand insight on how Diploma Mills Could Enable Terrorist Infiltration.

When I first began working for the INS as an immigration inspector, students who sought entry into the United States were required to produce Form I-20 issued by the school they intended to attend. They were admitted for a period of one year that had to be renewed every year. Several years later, the INS changed the one year admission policy to call for the admission of foreign students for the duration of status as students. Today inspectors simply note the arriving student is admitted for D/S (Duration of Status). This removes a potential area of monitoring whether or not a student is still enrolled in school. There is a program known as SEVIS that is supposed to keep track of foreign students and exchange visitors in our country.

The problem is that with the lack of resources at ICE, a student who stops attending school may well be reported to our government, but in the game of “hide and seek” the student who decides to drop out of school may hide but the government has precious little in the way of resources to “seek.”

The news report on the diploma mill is disturbing but it only addresses one area of immigration fraud while there are many other areas in which the bad guys, including terrorists, are easily able to game the immigration bureaucracy through committing fraud that goes undiscovered.

The news report Cutler refers to is from yesterday's New York Times, titled Diploma Mill Concerns Extend Beyond Fraud.