According to a bombshell new report from the Boston Globe, terrorist Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who joined his brother in killing three people and injuring 260 others at the 2013 Boston Marathon, was on the verge of becoming a U.S. citizen when he launched the attack. Federal immigration records show that only three months before the bombing, Tsarnaev passed a citizenship test.
On Jan. 23, 2013, immigration officer David McCormack interviewed Tsarnaev and tested his English and knowledge of US history and government. He answered six civics questions correctly to pass: He knew that Africans had been slaves, that there are 27 constitutional amendments, and that the United States bought Louisiana from the French in 1803. He also identified “Joe Biden” as the vice president, said Congress makes federal laws, and that the colonists fought the British over “high taxes.” He correctly read a question about voting and wrote the answer: “Citizens can vote.”
According to the records, obtained by the paper after years of Freedom of Information Act requests, there wasn’t much standing between Tsarnaev and his citizenship. Having passed the test, Tsarnaev only needed to get a supervisor’s approval and he would be ready for the swearing-in ceremony.
Homeland Security released a statement in response to the release, defending their screening process. “US Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) commitment to national security is shared inside and outside of the Department of Homeland Security,” said the statement. “While USCIS found no errors in the processing of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s or [friend and possible accomplice] Ibragim Todashev’s applications, we are always seeking to strengthen our very intensive screening processes.
Yes, the same intensive screening processes responsible for granting a marriage visa to Tashfeen Malik, the woman who went on to kill 14 people in San Bernardino. It’s obvious that our government is really on top of things.
See, this is the kind of story that might help people understand why so many Americans support Donald Trump’s call for a moratorium on Muslim immigration. It’s not about “Islamophobia” or racism or whatever else his critics conclude. It’s rooted in two things: the painful incompetence of our security screening process and the clear link between Islam and terrorism. And until we can develop a foolproof way to determine whether or not we’re permitting extremists into the country, why should we take the chance? What benefit is there to our country?