The GAO report pointed out that over the past two years, TSA and Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security have supposedly been working on a pilot program to vet names of foreign students against immigration databases -- "but have not specified desired outcomes and time frames, or assigned individuals with responsibility for fully instituting the program."
The Obama administration promises to have a "plan" in place by December 2012 to "assess" the legal status of foreign pilot trainees. Meantime, election-year amnesty and intransigent apathy reign.
For more than decade, I've reported on the failure of the federal government to build a comprehensive foreign visitor entry-exit tracking system. Visa overstayers constitute 40 percent of the entire illegal alien population -- and have been major beneficiaries of both Bush and Obama illegal alien waiver programs and deportation freezes.
On the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks last year, GOP House Homeland Security Chairwoman Candice Miller reported on the federal backlog of more than 750,000 unvetted visa overstay records: "If we are serious about controlling who comes into the nation and preventing another 9/11 attack, we need to get serious about an exit program," she testified. "The (Department of Homeland Security) has yet to articulate a plan to move forward with a comprehensive exit plan in the air environment or elsewhere."
Open-borders lobbyists, the travel industry, civil-rights absolutists and ethnic-grievance groups have lobbied hard to stymie full implementation of coordinated databases to identify, locate and remove illegal overstayers. The systemic, bipartisan refusal to crack down on short-term tourist, business and student visa holders is a clear and present security danger.
Don't take my word for it.
In 2010, President Obama's own Homeland Security Department Inspector General Richard Skinner testified before Congress: "Overstays perpetuate the illegal immigration problem by using the visa process to break the law to remain in the United States. Moreover, some overstays represent a very real national security risk to the nation."
Need a reminder? The Nationwide Visa Overstayers Club includes dozens of jihadists, including Mohamed Atta and four other 9/11 hijackers; 1997 New York subway bomber Lafi Khalil; four of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers; 1993 New York landmark-bombing conspirator Fadil Abdelgani; convicted Times Square bomb plotter Faisal Shahzad; and U.S. Capitol bomb plotter Amine El Khalifi, whose visa expired in 1999 and escaped homeland security notice for 12 years before he was arrested this February just blocks from the Capitol building donning what he thought was a suicide bomb vest.
For the willfully dense: The salient homeland security point here isn't that every overstayer is a jihadi. The point is that the nation's massive, untouched illegal alien overstayer population allows nefarious malefactors from all over the world to blend in and operate with impunity.
Evil never rests. Washington bureaucrats, on the other, are engaged in an endless, reckless game of Kick the Can.