A US State Department official admitted on Thursday that US President Barack Obama’s administration is not sure where thousands of foreigners in the US who had their visas pulled over terror suspicions currently are.
Michele Thoren Bond, assistant secretary for the Bureau of Consular Affairs, made the admission at a House oversight hearing that was investigating immigrant vetting processes so as to prevent terror attacks, reports Fox News.
Bond said that the US had revoked over 122,000 visas since 2001, including 9,500 over terrorism concerns.
When Committee chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) asked Bond to clarify about the present location of those who had their visas pulled, she admitted, “I don’t know.”
“You don’t have a clue do you?,” said Chaffetz.
During the committee meeting, administration officials were questioned regarding the measures being taken to prevent Muslim terrorists from entering the US, in a discussion on the background checks of migrants.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services director Leon Rodriguez stated that background checks including those of social media activity are not being done on a large scale, and did not specify when the checks do take place.
“If half the employers are doing it in the United States of America, if colleges are doing it for students, why wouldn’t Homeland Security do it?” said Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA). “We don’t even look at their public stuff, that’s what kills me.”
The line of questioning has particular pertinence given that one of the Muslim terrorists who pledged loyalty to Islamic State (ISIS) before launching a lethal shooting spree in San Bernardino, California earlier this month entered the US on a K-1 fiancee visa last year.
That entry was permitted despite the fact that the FBI says she was already radicalized, having discussed jihad and martyrdom with her future husband who she carried out the attack with.
Obama is currently facing large criticism over his plan to bring in tens of thousands of Syrian migrants without a strict vetting process in place to ensure terrorists do not infiltrate their ranks. Reportedly many of the migrants who have recently been let in the country already have gone missing.