Were the 13 Immigration and Nationality Act "reforms" authored by Barney Frank between 1981 and 2001 responsible for the Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev traveling back and forth between Dagastan and the US with a legal visa even after the Russian Government had informed the FBI and the CIA about his radical Islamist background?
This question is particularly relevant now that it has become all too apparent that foreign terrorists with legal visas are still inside the United States even after 9/11.
Frank's 1989 amendment prevented our customs and embassy officials from doing their jobs and denying visas to applicants based on their ideology and associations. Frank felt that such denials were discriminatory. After Frank's amendments became law a visa could only be denied to an applicant if there was "proof" that the applicant had been involved in "terrorist activities."
The most insane aspects of the Frank Amendment were abolished by the USA Patriot Act after it was revealed that all but three of the 19 hijackers of September 11, 2001 had entered the US with legal visas. There was, after all, no "proof" that those hijackers had been involved in "terrorist activities." Yet recent evidence indicates that those stupid laws are still being observed. Perhaps our customs and embassy officials are passing people through so as to avoid being accused of discrimination or racial profiling.
Other Frank amendments include a 1981 law that loosened restrictions on student visas. Terrorist commander Mohammed Atta held a legal student visa on 9/11 with the knowledge that he would not be closely scrutinized. University of Florida Professor and suspected head of Islamic Jihad Sami al-Arian held a teaching visa thanks to Frank's law H.R. 5287. Other Frank amendments impeded embassy officials from using their discretion in granting visas overseas. These laws made it difficult, according to Gerald Posner, the author of "Why America Slept - The Failure to Prevent 9/11," for the FBI and the CIA to share information once the suspected terrorists were inside the United States.
Terrorism expert Steven Emerson, in congressional testimony, spoke of Hamas members and sympathizers, after the 1989 passage of the Frank Amendment, flooding into the United States where they recruited members in Mosques, raised money for overseas "charities" and engaged in anti-Semitic and anti-American propaganda.
Regarding the Frank amendment of 1989, former Clinton Administration CIA Director James Woolsey told the Wall Street Journal "Congress had made it illegal to deny visas to members of terrorist groups." Gerald Posner wrote "Congressman Barney Frank...led a successful effort to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act so that membership in a terrorist group was no longer sufficient to deny a visa."
Barney Frank, criticizing the USA Patriot Act on his official congressional website wrote: "The bill (the Patriot Act) would have allowed the exclusion of visa applicant who had "endorsed or espoused terrorist activity"...but the mere "espousal or endorsement" of terrorist activity casts far too wide a net of exclusion."
All sovereign nations, according to norms of international law and custom, today and historically, have a right to deny visas to anyone they choose. There is no such a thing as a right for a person to enter into any sovereign nation without permission. This common sense right is no different from the right of the individual or the family to deny a person entry into their home or place of domicile. This is, indeed, a common sense natural right. Barney Frank came up with the brilliant idea of overturning that right, that basic feature of any sovereign nation, that right to protect the national home. The consequence of this policy has been devastating, as we have seen.
Chuck Morse is the host the radio talk show "Chuck Morse Speaks" which is nationally syndicated on the IRN/USA Radio Network Mon - Fri 10 AM - Noon ET. He is the author of books as well as columns that have been published in The Boston Globe, The Washington Times, The Providence Journal, the New Bedford Standard Times, WND, Newsmax and Front Page. Chuck received the 2003 Communicator of the Year award from the National Right to Work Committee and was named a "Heavy 100" Radio Talk Host by Talkers Magazine. Morse ran for Congress in 2004 against Rep. Barney Frank in Massachusetts.