Unfortunately the article gets off to a lousy start with headline that's a complete misnomer: Illegal immigration and the new terrorism threat collide. [By Kimberly Dvorak, November 8 2010].But all indications are that Ahmed used the legal immigration system to penetrate the U.S.
Dvorak probably had no choice of headline; titles are written by editors. But it comes across as Politically Correct misdirection. Things like this happen because most MainStream Media people don't understand that legal immigration is just as big a problem as the illegal kind.
Most likely Ahmed came to the U.S. on a student visa and was able to hold jobs by working with an Optional Practical Training (OPT) authorization. Eventually he got a green card which put him on a pathway to citizenship.
The uncertainty over Ahmed's immigration status is caused largely because the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services won't release that information. The USCIS even refused a request for the information by Senator Grassley (R-IO)! Now Grassley is demanding that Janet Napolitano at the Department of Homeland Security release the immigration history and basis for naturalization of Farooque Ahmed.
Farooque Ahmed's immigration status has been covered up and there is a potential for a major constitutional confrontation if Napolitano doesn't cooperate. Grassley wrote a strong warning to Napolitano:
I also want to bring to your attention the fact that my staff informally asked the Office of Legislative Affairs at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for this information on November 1, 2010. My staff was informed that the Department of Homeland Security would not provide this information to a member of Congress without first obtaining a privacy release from the suspected terrorist in custody first. This response is unacceptable as a matter of accountability and is in clear conflict with the plain language of the Privacy Act exemption for members of Congress.Ahmed's immigration status seems to be eerily similar to that of the Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad. To find out how Shahzad used student visas, H-1B, OPT, and green cards there is no better paper written than the one at the Center for Immigration Studies by Jessica Vaughan, May 2010: Faisal Shahzad: So Easy, Anyone Can Do It.
(Grassley seeks information about immigration channels used by suspected terrorist as a matter of public accountability, Press Release by Charles E. Grassley, United States Senator, November 4, 2010)
The Examiner.com article featured Gene Nelson, Ph.D. who explained why terrorists like Ahmed are being allowed into the United States:
"The lack of vetting of imported technical professionals under work visa programs such as H-1B is causing national security harms. I have discussed this problem in testimony delivered in the U.S. House of Representatives and the National Academy of Sciences since 1996," Nelson explains. "The long-term negative externalities of such immigrant avidity include the prospect of large-scale nuclear terrorism or bioterrorism in the U.S., likely in cities such as Washington, DC or New York City."On H-1B specifically Nelson says the following:
Nelson explains that an employer-sponsored H-1B visa requires practically no vetting of applicants and allows foreign students to remain in the U.S. for at least six years. Plus, foreign students or employees are often granted automatic extensions while they are waiting for a green card. Once a green card is in hand, foreigners are well on their way to completing the U.S. naturalization process.Gene Nelson and I have been researching the use of nonimmigrant work visas by terrorists ever since September 11, 2001. We conclusively established that the Richardson, Texas based Holy Land Foundation and its closely held subsidiary, Infocomm, each had been given authority to hire H-1Bs. Other Muslim terrorist-supporting entities in Illinois and Michigan were also given authority to hire H-1Bs. We also showed that foreign flight instructors with H-1B visas were hired at several pilot training schools in Florida and Arizona where the 9/11 terrorists learned to fly jets into buildings.
The warnings have been in front of Congress for a long time. On August 5, 1999 Gene Nelson testified to the U.S. House of Representatives. He warned Congress about the scandalously low amount of counterintelligence resources that are spent to investigate the backgrounds of H-1B scientists and engineers hired by the formerly ultra-secure Los Alamos National Laboratory ($115 per year per foreign scientist or engineer).