Sen. Rand Paul in a radio interview with Glenn Beck on Thursday said he’d “definitely look into” reports that a Saudi national briefly labeled a “person of interest” has been cleared for deportation despite claims that he may be somehow connected to the Boston bombings.
“I hope that this won’t be someone involved with a student visa. I don’t have any special details on the current situation,” he said.
“But I’m concerned in general that students from various countries that are dead set on harming Americans, that we have to be more careful and should have more scrutiny on these students when they arrive,” he added.
He went on to explain his concerns over the student visa program as it currently stands.
“From a general perspective, we need to have more scrutiny on student visas,” the Kentucky Republican said. “We need to know where the students are. Are they attending school? We need to do extensive background checks on people coming to visit us.”
“Because the 19 hijackers on 9/11,” he continued, “several of them were here on … student visas, and were not obeying even the rules of the student visa program.”
“Had we been paying attention we may well have sent some of these students back home because they weren’t attending school,” he added.
Watch the interview here [Saudi comments come at the 04:24 mark]:
The U.S. should “get a handle on where people are,” Paul said, adding that we should “have more scrutiny on these students when they arrive.”
“We’ll definitely look into it,” he said of the Saudi national reports.
- Exclusive: Saudi National Once Considered ‘Person of Interest’ May Be Deported on ‘Security’ Grounds — And How It’s Supposed to Be Framed
Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter
Featured image Getty Images.