Border Agents Must Now Verify All Student Visas

One of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's friends slipped through

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 3, 2013 5:12 PM CDT

(Newser) – It's the first tangible change in security procedures as a result of the Boston bombings, reports AP: From now on, border agents must check that every foreign student who enters the country has a valid student visa. That hadn't been automatic previously because the agents, oddly, didn't have easy access to the appropriate database from the Homeland Security department.

Case in point: One of the three friends of the Tsarnaev brothers accused of covering up for Dzhokhar didn't have a valid visa when he returned to the US in January. Azamat Tazhayakov shouldn't have been allowed entry, but airport customs in New York waved him through. DHS officials are working on making the process move quickly, but there could be hiccups in the interim. A college near Buffalo, for example, has warned students coming in from Canada to add two hours to their trips because of the added scrutiny.

This undated photo shows, from left, Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Times Square.
This undated photo shows, from left, Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Times Square.   (AP Photo/VK)
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