United States House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said Saturday the immigration officials had missed vetting steps while approving Tashfeen Malik’s application to K-1 fiancee visa in 2014.
Malik and her husband Syed Rizwan killed 14 people by opening fire in San Bernardino, California, earlier this month.
The immigration officials didn’t sufficiently vet the information provided by the shooter to obtain a visa, said Rep. Bob Goodlatte.
He added the filed materials didn’t fulfil that Malik had met her future husband in person before applying for the K-1 visa.
In the US it is necessary for a person from other country to meet in person the future partner before seeking a K-1 fiancee visa.
Two items did show the two had met before seeking the visa but those do not confirm exactly. One was a statement from Farook and the second was passport pages that reveal they visited Saudi Arabia but not whether they met.
However, it is not very clear whether the two were in Saudi Arabia at the same time.
Goodlatte said, “After reviewing Tashfeen Malik’s immigration file, it is clear that immigration officials did not thoroughly vet her application.”
The worst was, immigration official had requested to Malik to provide more evidence that can ensure the two met in person but it was never done from her end and the visa was approved anyway.
A researcher for the House Judiciary Committee has been charged with translating stamps in the passport of the Pakistan-born.
From the passport of Malik it is determined she entered the country probably on June 4 in 2013 taking a 60-day visa. The month and day on which she left the country is however not determined as only the year is shown in the passport as 2013.
Meanwhile, Farook’s passport shows he entered Saudi Arabia on October 1 in 2013 and exit stamp shows the date of October 20 in 2013. From the pages it is not determined the two entered the country at the same time and also it is not determined whether both met during the time.
More to all these, Malik’s immigration files is not proving the translation request for K-1 application were completed.
Goodlatte added the visa security is critical to national security and in any way it is not acceptable Malik’s application was not fully vet and the visa was approved sloppily.
The State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Kennedy Trudeau defended such claims saying all the required procedures were followed in Malik’s case before approving the K-1 visa.
She said, “There were no indications of any ill intent at the time that the visa was issued.”
According to The Times, the State Department officials claim the names of both Malik as well as Farook were checked against criminal and counterterror databases and no negative information against them were found.