Many U.S. embassies lack additional layer of visa security – Government Executive

The expansion of a seven-year-old federal program designed to tighten the visa application process at U.S. embassies is moving too slowly, said a Republican lawmaker in a Jan. 11 letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, blamed “objections and roadblocks from the State Department” for the delay in creating visa security units at high-risk overseas posts. The 2002 Homeland Security Act directed the department to assign Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel to embassies worldwide to work with and provide law enforcement support to State’s consular officers who process visa applications. There are visa security units in 14 of the more than 220 State posts overseas, including the Philippines, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.