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May 3rd, 2013
05:30 PM ET

DHS orders all foreign students checked for valid visas

A U.S. government official confirms to CNN that the Department of Homeland Security has issued a memo ordering Customs and Border Protection agents to verify "effective immediately" that every foreign student who wants to enter the U.S. has a valid student visa.

As we were first to report, one of the Boston bombing cover up suspects, Azamat Tazhayakov, re-entered the U.S. earlier this year on a visa that should have been revoked because he was no longer a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

But CBP never got the message, showcasing persistent information sharing problems that have plagued officials for more than a decade.

Of all the problems the U.S. has with immigration, people coming in on student visas, and student visa violations are a very low priority.

"This new directive puts them in a higher priority... so that the government double checks to make sure that their visa is still valid," said CNN National Security analyst and former DHS official Juliette Kayyem.

Tazhayakov's involvement with the bombing appears to be in the cover up, denying him entry to the U.S. would likely not have prevented the Boston terror attack, adds Kayyem.

"But this is low hanging fruit to fix, and if it can be fixed, it should be fixed," said Kayyem.

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