Boston bombings: US tightens international student policy

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Boston, May 4: The Boston marathon bombings of April 15 has led to a change in the US security policy, the first of its kind, with the government asking border agents to check the validity of visas for every international student entering the country.

Three people, including a boy, were killed while over 260 were injured in the bombings at the historic marathon. Dzhokhar, along with elder brother, Tamerlan, had a clash with the police four days after the blasts and while Tamerlan was killed during an encounter, Dzhokhar was caught in a serious condition.

The order, which comes into effect immediately, was given after it was revealed that a Kazakh student, a friend of the surviving bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was allowed to re-enter the US after the winter break although his student visa had been revoked 16 days ago because of poor grades.

The student is now in federal custody for allegedly removing evidence from Dzhokhar's dormitory room and discarding it before an official search was conducted.

The security lag may encourage the arguments of those who believe that the border and visa enforcement measures remain spotty for the Congress to earnestly consider a sweeping immigration reform whereby a legal status would be granted to many of the 10 million illegal immigrants living in the US.

Under the new order, flight manifests will be used to identify the incoming students from abroad and US border agents will verify their visa status while en route to the US.

The US is the major higher education destination for students from around the world. According to a report published by the Brookings Institution, 21 per cent of all college students studying abroad attend US institutes.

OneIndia News

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