Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Sunday that the comprehensive immigration bill he negotiated with a bipartisan group of seven other senators directly addresses some of the security flaws that may have been exploited by a foreign student accused of helping bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev dispose of evidence.
“It’s hard to believe 12 years after 9/11 we’re having this conversation, but you put your finger on it. There’s not enough coordination between these different agencies so that we know someone should not have been readmitted to the United States,” Durbin told CNN. “But our bill addresses that directly.”
The Department of Homeland Security announced over the weekend that border security agents must now check that foreign students entering the country have a valid visa. Azamat Tazhayakov, who was arrested last week and accused of removing a backpack containing fireworks from Tsarnaev’s apartment, did not have valid documentation when he returned to the U.S. in January, but was waved through by border agents who did not have access to the database from Homeland Security.