Rep. Miller Statement on the Terrorist Attack in Boston

Apr 16, 2013 Issues: Defense and Homeland Security

Click to view Rep. Miller's video statement

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Candice Miller (MI-10) today made the following comments on the terrorist attack in Boston:

“While we do not yet know who is responsible for the horrific attack in Boston, we do know that our nation remains under threat of terror and we must remain ever vigilant.  As a member of Congress, I see my first constitutional responsibility to do all I can to make certain the federal government provides for the common defense.

“Part of that is making certain we know who is in our country.  On 9/11, 19 foreign terrorists, 15 from Saudi Arabia, came right through our front door on visas and then used the tools of our freedom to murder our fellow Americans.  That is why I recently joined with several of my colleagues on the Homeland Security Committee to send a letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security to ask her why the department she leads intended to add Saudi Arabia to the small number of countries involved in a program to give that country’s citizens easier entry to the United States under the terms of this trusted traveler program.  Given our past experience with Saudi Arabia, and since there are only a small number of countries currently involved in the program including Canada, South Korea, the Netherlands and Mexico, there is no way Saudi Arabia should be included in that group.  We are still waiting for a response to this question, but rest assured we will make certain that America is protected. 

“Additionally, I have been working on strengthening our visa tracking system.  Every one of the 9/11 terrorists entered our nation on a legitimate visa and on the day of the attack four of them were still in our nation even though their visa had expired.  And as many as 40% of those in our nation illegally did not sneak in over the border; they came in through the front door on a visa and have never left.  As Chair of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, I have been leading the effort to bring a far more robust visa entry and exit tracking system so we have a much better idea of who is in our nation.  Since I started this effort the Department of Homeland Security has greatly reduced the backlog of investigations on visa overstays and is working toward implanting the stronger entry and exit tracking system we need.  Again I will stay on top of this issue to make certain we defend our borders.

“The federal government must do its job to defend our borders and protect us from those overseas and here at home that seek to harm our citizens.  The government must be vigilant, and so must the American people.  The events in Boston prove that despite our best efforts there are people inside our nation bent on terrorizing the American people.  The best defense against this are the American people themselves observing and reporting suspicious behavior to authorities; in short if you see something, say something. 

“We will all grieve those killed and injured in Boston together as Americans.  Together we investigate and will bring those responsible to justice.  And together we will move forward as one great nation to defend the land we love.”