Visa Security for a Post-9/11 Era

This chapter describes how the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have placed the U.S. immigration policy at the center of a heightened debate. Conservative factions, who want to close the borders indefinitely, have become more and more vocal against immigration advocates who want amnesty granted to all illegal aliens. The dialogue, which began in light of the hijackers’ ability to procure U.S. visas, has become a charged public policy issue. However, despite accusation of harsher policies due to the new security environment, in 2004, nearly three-fourths of all applicants for a U.S. visa were successful. An even greater majority of those seeking student visas, about 80 percent, received approval. In addition, the United States had a 12 percent increase in the number of business and tourism travelers and an increase in the number of students who came as non-immigrant visitors last year. Immigration policy is not only a question of national security. The question of who is allowed access into the United States and for how long affects international politics, trade, economic stability, and society at large. The objective of this chapter is not to critique the errors and oversight which allowed for many of the events that led up to 9/11, especially given that most cases of terrorism within continental United States have been caused by domestic agents. Rather, the chapter looks at the visa application process and demonstrates how, even four years after 9/11, the consular arena is still extremely vulnerable despite new security policies. New laws, harsher punishment for immigration violators, additional personnel, and smarter technology will not greatly improve our national defenses if the core of the visa training and adjudication process is not more closely examined.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Praeger Security International

    88 Post Road West
    Westport, CT  United States  06881
  • Authors:
    • Bove-LaMonica, Daniela E
  • Publication Date: 2006


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 202-219
  • Monograph Title: Homeland Security Protecting America’s Targets. Volume 1 Borders and Points of Entry
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 1

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01050146
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0275987698
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 24 2007 1:57PM