How the Boston Bombing Suspects Became U.S. Citizens

The Lowell Sun & Robin Young/AP

In April 2002, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev apparently arrived in the United States on a tourist visa with his sons Tamerlan, 15, and Dzhokhar, 8 — now the suspects in the ongoing Boston Marathon bombing manhunt. Over time, the family gained asylum. Tamerlan became a citizen. We spoke with David Leopold of Leopold and Associates, an immigration attorney who's been practicing law in Cleveland since the early 1990s, who walked us through how that process worked — and why it would likely have been impossible to predict what happened to Tamerlan next.

Getting a Tourist Visa

The simplest part of the family's trip would be acquiring the tourist visa. The State Department, which manages the issuing process, explains how to get a visa on its website. Fill out a form, have an interview, get your visa.

Where the Tsarnaevs were applying from, like many of the details of the narrative at this point, is not entirely clear. In 2001, they apparently moved to Kyrgyzstan, which may have been where the family lived when it applied. 

This visa application is the first point at which the government would begin the most important part of the process: conducting a security screening of the applicants. Given the number of tourists who visit the United States each year and the limited time period of the tourist visa (six months, at most), this is the least rigorous security screening conducted. (For what it's worth, the 9/11 hijackers used tourist and business visas to access the country.)

Read the rest of the story on The Atlantic Wire. 

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.