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Sen. Schumer Calls For More Oversight Of Student Visas In Wake Of Foiled Terror Plot

Sen. Charles Schumer holding up GAO report on "sham universities" that issue student visas Oct. 18, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Sen. Charles Schumer holding up GAO report on “sham universities” that issue student visas Oct. 18, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – In the wake of the foiled terror plot to bomb the Federal Reserve Bank in Lower Manhattan, Sen. Charles Schumer called on his colleagues in Congress to immediately pass his bipartisan proposal to tighten oversight of student visas.

Schumer said so-called “sham universities” continue to issue student visas, which serve as a back door for potential terrorists trying to enter the U.S. for a long period.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports

“And it’s very easy for a would-be terrorist to figure out how to get a student visa from one of these sham universities,” Schumer told reporters including WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

Federal authorities said Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, came to the U.S. from Bangladesh on a student visa in January and eventually moved into an apartment in Queens.

Schumer said the student visa Nafis obtained from a Missouri university is legitimate, but said his quick transfer to a university in the city should have raised a red flag.

Schumer also pointed out that there is no evidence showing any wrongdoing on the part of the Missouri university that granted the visa to Nafis.

“We’re not saying they did anything wrong, but he then quickly transferred to a university in New York,” Schumer said.

Schumer introduced the increased oversight measure earlier this year after Tri-Valley University in California was shut down for after it was found out they sold 1,500 student visas to foreigners.

A subsequent report from the Government Accountability Office found “sham universities” and bogus student visas were a widespread problem, allowing thousands of foreign nationals to enter the U.S.

“It found that institutions ranging from undergraduate programs to flight schools were allowing students to come into the country and not required to get an education. And we all know that some of the 9/11 terrorists came in on student visas from flight schools,” Schumer said.

Schumer’s bill would close loopholes that currently allow “sham universities” to issue visas and make a huge profit at the expense of America’s safety, the senator said.

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