NECN - In the year since the Boston Marathon bombings, the path the alleged bombers took to the U.S. has been heavily scrutinized. Now, Maine Senator Susan Collins is asking how a man questioned in connection with the attack was allowed to stay in this country.
According to Sen. Collins, Ibragim Todashev came to the U.S. in 2008 on a student visa he obtained from a Portland, Maine company called CIEE. The company says shortly after he arrived, he failed to comply with the program job requirements and CIEE advised him to leave the country immediately. They alerted the Federal government.
However, Todashev never left and several months later, he was granted asylum and later a green card. Last May, the FBI questioned Todashev about his friendship with Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his involvement in a triple murder in Waltham, Mass. in 2011. Police shot and killed Todashev during that encounter, claiming he attacked an officer and they shot him in self-defense.
"The Portland firm did everything right. They reported him to the Federal government and told him to prepare to leave the country immediately, so why would an individual who instantly violated the terms of the visa that allowed him to come here be granted asylum and a green card?" asked Sen. Collins.
A former Deputy Assistant Secretary of DHS, who now works for the Heritage Foundation, says even though Todashev was out of compliance with his Visa, the law allowed him to apply for asylum.
"His failure to comply with a J1 Visa raises a red flag to his continued presence in the US. Absolutely he should have been deported but that presumption gets overcome by a successful application for asylum," said Paul Rosenzweig.
Sen. Collins says the Boston bombings should have been a wakeup call to the administration and Congress that a broken system is a risk to public safety; but, in the year since that day, little has changed.