Senator Accused of Fixing Student Visa Applications

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) was recently indicted on a variety of corruption charges related mostly to his association with Medicare fraudster Dr. Saloman Melgen.

One of the corruption charges stems from Sen. Menendez and his staff pressuring immigration officials to approve F-1 student visas for Melgen’s girlfriends.

A senior Menendez staffer emailed a State Department staffer that Girlfriend 1 “has her visa application appointment in Brasilia, Brazil, tomorrow. … Sen. Menendez would like to advocate unconditionally for Dr. Melgen and encourage careful consideration of (Girlfriend 1)’s visa application.”

Oba!  “The State Department responded within hours, and the woman got her visa the following day,” the Post reported. Sugar daddy Melgen set up a shady nonprofit to help fund Lopes Leite’s education, according to the indictment. The IRS-approved “foundation” for “helping with the educational needs of disadvantaged persons” also subsidized college costs for a second woman “romantically linked to Menendez.”

Around 500,000 of these F-1 student visas are approved every year.  They are supposed to be temporary, allowing students to come to the U.S. and go to school and then return to their home countries.

But many F-1 students simply overstay their visas and immigration officials do little to prod them to depart. These failures have had severe consequences for American security:

Despite repeated warning flags involving foreign students on F-1 visas who slipped through the cracks — the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 9/11 plot, the Times Square bombing plot, the Boston Marathon bombing — Washington refuses to hit the pause button and get the program under control. By the federal government’s own admission in multiple independent audits and inspector general reports, officials at the Departments of Homeland Security and State cannot efficiently police and monitor the flood.

The shabby F-1 visa program is just another way immigration policy is letting down Americans.

It’s clear what Menendez and Melgen got out of F-1. But what about the rest of the country? Each and every temporary visa program is supposed to enhance the national interest — not just the naked demands and desires of universities, corporations and dirty old men.

Instead of stemming the tide and making enforcement a priority, politicians in both parties are pushing forward with various schemes to radically expand and extend the foreign student visa racket. It’s proof positive that Brazil’s got nothing on the biggest boobs in Washington.