The Corner

Expel The Yale Taliban?

Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn has sent a letter to Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff about the decision to allow Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, the former Taliban spokesman, into the United States to become a student at Yale.

Dear Secretary Chertoff:

I write to you regarding Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, the former Taliban spokesman currently attending Yale University on a student visa.

In 2005, Congress passed the REAL ID Act and expanded the terror-related grounds of inadmissibility. Under current law, an alien is inadmissible or removable on terror-related grounds if he is a representative of any designated or nondesignated terrorist organization. Further, an alien is inadmissible or removable if the alien endorses or espouses terrorist activity or persuades others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity or support a terrorist organization. The REAL ID is clear that the grounds of inadmissibility and removal apply regardless of when the conduct in question occurred.

Mr. Hashemi was an official spokesman for the Taliban, which gave safe haven and other material support to Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, and continued to do so even after the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Yet the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) admitted him into the United States on an F-1 student visa. I would like to know what steps the Department of Homeland Security is taking to determine whether Mr. Hashemi was properly admitted and whether the Department of Homeland Security will seek to deport Mr. Hashemi under one of the terror-related grounds of removal.

I am also concerned about the Department of Homeland Security’s role in reviewing Mr. Hashemi’s student visa application prior to its issuance. The report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States concluded that the key officials responsible for determining alien admissions (consular officers abroad and immigration inspectors in the United States) were not considered full partners in counterterrorism efforts prior to September 11, 2001, and as a result, opportunities to intercept the September 11 terrorists were missed.

Congress subsequently passed the Homeland Security Act, and section 428 allows DHS to assign staff to consular posts abroad to advise consular officers, review visa applications, and conduct investigations. Yet it is not clear that DHS officials were afforded an opportunity to review Mr. Hashemi’s visa application prior to its issuance. Please provide an update on the progress DHS is making in assigning officers to the consulate in Islamabad and whether those officers are fully integrated into the visa screening process.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

JOHN CORNYN

United States Senator

Byron York is a former White House correspondent for National Review.

Most Popular

Media

The Attacks on Judge Barrett Have Already Started

Some left-wingers aren’t waiting for Judge Amy Barrett to be nominated to the Supreme Court to start attacking her. The attacks over the last few days have been steeped in anti-Catholicism, other types of bigotry, and lazy error. A headline at the left-wing website Refinery29 called her “the Potential RBG ... Read More
Media

The Attacks on Judge Barrett Have Already Started

Some left-wingers aren’t waiting for Judge Amy Barrett to be nominated to the Supreme Court to start attacking her. The attacks over the last few days have been steeped in anti-Catholicism, other types of bigotry, and lazy error. A headline at the left-wing website Refinery29 called her “the Potential RBG ... Read More

Andrew Cuomo’s Horrific Decisions

Observers of New York politics over the past several years understand that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s fanatical obsession with humiliating and overruling his fellow Democrat Bill de Blasio towers over every other consideration in the Empire State. Sometimes Cuomo’s habits come across as merely silly, as when he ... Read More

Andrew Cuomo’s Horrific Decisions

Observers of New York politics over the past several years understand that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s fanatical obsession with humiliating and overruling his fellow Democrat Bill de Blasio towers over every other consideration in the Empire State. Sometimes Cuomo’s habits come across as merely silly, as when he ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Rules Matter

On the menu today: One of Robert Mueller’s lieutenants now writes that the former FBI director failed to subpoena the president and otherwise “pulled punches for fear of incurring Trump’s wrath”; the importance of rules, and how political figures who refuse to apply a consistent standard make governing ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Rules Matter

On the menu today: One of Robert Mueller’s lieutenants now writes that the former FBI director failed to subpoena the president and otherwise “pulled punches for fear of incurring Trump’s wrath”; the importance of rules, and how political figures who refuse to apply a consistent standard make governing ... Read More
U.S.

Systemic Racism? Make Them Prove It.

I  worked in the criminal-justice system for a quarter century. It is run, day-to-day, by the crème de la crème of graduates from America’s top law schools. Those institutions wear their progressive bona fides on their sleeves and proclaim it for all the world to hear. In their offhand rhetoric — ... Read More
U.S.

Systemic Racism? Make Them Prove It.

I  worked in the criminal-justice system for a quarter century. It is run, day-to-day, by the crème de la crème of graduates from America’s top law schools. Those institutions wear their progressive bona fides on their sleeves and proclaim it for all the world to hear. In their offhand rhetoric — ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The Left Wants Regime Change

Constitutional revolution is going mainstream. After delivering lectures about political norms for the entirety of the Trump era -- often with good cause -- much of the Left is now threatening to kneecap an important institution of American government on a partisan vote in an act of ideological ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The Left Wants Regime Change

Constitutional revolution is going mainstream. After delivering lectures about political norms for the entirety of the Trump era -- often with good cause -- much of the Left is now threatening to kneecap an important institution of American government on a partisan vote in an act of ideological ... Read More