ICE Official Admits Agency Rarely Goes After Visa Overstays

Out of this overwhelming amount of illegal immigrants who took advantage of the visa system, immigration authorities only investigated 10,000 of them. And as for pursuing further action against these lawbreakers, only 2,000, or less than 0.04 percent, have been arrested, a frighteningly low number considering the role overstayed visas played in 9/11:

“After years of delay, Homeland Security officials in January released a report detailing part of the problem. Of the nearly 50 million business and tourist visas issued, about 1 percent — or 500,000 — remained even after their permission expired in 2015.

Canadians were the largest group of offenders, accounting for nearly a fifth. Mexico, Brazil, Germany and Italy rounded out the top five, the Pew Research Center said.

And the report did not include those who came on student or work visas, who may have much different overstay rates given that many of them put down roots during their more extended time legally in the country.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas Democrat, defended the lower priority given to tracking down visa overstays, saying that at least, in recent years, they haven’t been implicated in major terrorist attacks.

‘The question for the American people is the issue of security and the level of threat that these people represent,' she said.

However, a number of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers were overstays, prompting the 9/11 Commission to call for the government to complete a tracking system so all visitors to the U.S. are tracked on entry and exit. The entry system works, but the government does not have a complete working exit system.”

Source: Washington Times



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