Editorial

Latest INS blunder shows problems remain

Sunday, March 17, 2002

The Immigration and Naturalization Service, already in hot water over how it handled visas for the men involved in the September terrorist attacks, found itself in the middle of another huge blunder last week.

The Florida flight school where two of the terrorists were trained received formal INS notification that student visas for the two men had been approved.

Both President Bush and the Justice Department, which oversees the INS, have asked for investigations into how something like this could happen. The INS blamed a backlog at a document-processing center.

The INS has a reorganization plan, announced by Attorney General John Ashcroft last November. It would split the agency's enforcement and service functions.

And the INS is getting a new computer system to eliminate its backlogs. The system was mandated by Congress -- in 1996. Obviously, there is a lot of procedural fixing left to be done at the INS.

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