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Part 5: Immigration

Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)

9/11 hijackers, Mohammed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi both received I-20 "Vocational" visas from Huffman Aviation. The OIG report indicates that the school should not have been allowed to issue this type of visa because they were not training people for the appropriate number of hours and were not considered a 'Full Course of Study.'
http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/special/02-05/chapter4.htm#III

1. Why did the INS certify Huffman aviation as a full time vocational school when in fact, it did not qualify? Lack of certification would have prevented it from accepting foreign students here on student visas.

2. Why wasn’t an onsite review conducted at Huffman aviation?

3. Who is responsible for oversight in this matter?

4. Has this problem been rectified or is Huffman still issuing this type of “coveted” visa?

5. Are other facilities issuing visas inappropriately?

6. Have all of the flight schools who have been certified by the INS in the past now been re-evaluated by Homeland Security?

7. Why didn’t the INS’ Miami enforcement office follow-up on a call by David Burns, a private investigator who reported that a large number of people appearing to be foreign nationals were applying for “Conch Republic” passports?

8. Has the INS devised a plan for preventing illegal entry by those who purchase “Conch Republic” passports?

One of the things troubling federal investigators: Anderson says he has used his Conch Republic passport to enter the United States five times, and enter Caribbean countries multiple times.”
http://www.cooperativeresearch.net/timeline/2001/miamiherald100301b.html


Thomas Fisher, retired, District Director for the INS, Atlanta

Please discuss the CIPRIS project that was abandoned in favor of SEVIS

    •  What were the reasons it was abandoned?

|     • Who spearheaded its abandonment?


Thomas Furey, consul general, U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia, 2000-2001

1. Were you aware of Saudi dissidents, particularly those followers of Osama bin Laden and their opposition to the presence of Americans in Saudi Arabia?

Additonal Suggested witnesses:

Maura Harty, Consular Affairs official

Mary Ryan, Consular Affairs

Diane Andruch, top deputy at CA

1. Why did your testimony before Congress in June 2002 indicate that Visa Express had ended when, in fact, it had not?

Inspector General Glenn Fine, Saudi Arabia - Consulate Representative

1. What directives were you given by the U.S. on how to treat Saudi nationals with regard to visa applications? Who issued them?

2. Did certain individuals or families get preferential treatment?

3. What criteria were used to issue visas to Saudi nationals traveling to the U.S.?

4. Were the criteria always followed?

5. Were there ramifications for not allowing Saudi nationals to travel?

Saudi Arabian Travel Agent(s) issuing visas

1. What criteria were used to issue visas to Saudi nationals traveling to the U.S.?

2. Were the criteria always followed?

3. Were there ramifications for not allowing Saudi nationals to travel?

Michael Springman, former head of the American visa bureau, Jeddah

MICHAEL SPRINGMAN: In Saudi Arabia I was repeatedly ordered by high level State Dept officials to issue visas to unqualified applicants. These were, essentially, people who had no ties either to Saudi Arabia or to their own country. I complained bitterly at the time there. I returned to the US, I complained to the State Dept here, to the General Accounting Office, to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and to the Inspector General's office. I was met with silence. ”
http://www.gregpalast.com/printerfriendly.cfm?artid=104

1. Please provide an in-depth account of what happened in Saudi Arabia, as well as any documentation you have to substantiate your claims and complaints. From whom did these orders originate?