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Thread: Rep. Mark Meadows wants action on visa overstays

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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Rep. Mark Meadows wants action on visa overstays

    Mark Barrett 3:14 p.m. EST January 22, 2016

    The federal government must do a better job of ensuring that visitors to the United States leave before their visas expire, 11th District U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows said after the release of a report estimating more than 500,000 people overstayed their visas last year.

    The Department of Homeland Security released Tuesday a report, requested by legislators, that found 527,177 foreigners had stayed longer in the U.S. than their visas allowed during federal fiscal year 2015, which ended Sept. 30

    That’s about 1.2 percent of the nearly 45 million people granted visas, the department said. But it said the number had dropped by a little more than 100,000 by Jan. 4, bringing the percentage of overstays to about 0.9 percent.

    Meadows, R-Jackson, and other members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee had requested the figures as had other members of Congress.

    “Foreigners overstaying their visas to remain in the U.S. illegally represents one of the gravest national security threats to the homeland,” Meadows said in a statement. “Two of the 9/11 hijackers overstayed their visas at the time of the attack that left nearly 3,000 Americans dead. Furthermore, two others involved had previously overstayed their visas. We know the risk posed by not enforcing our visa laws — it’s unacceptable that we are turning a blind eye to these violations.”

    Meadows said Congress has required DHS to implement a better system to track visa overstays since 1996 but the system has yet to be put in place.

    “DHS must immediately take measures to implement a thorough exit screening system to ensure that anyone who enters the U.S. on a visa actually leaves. There is no excuse not to,” Meadows said.
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  2. #2
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    "Visa expiration dates have become optional," Sen. Sessions said. "The Administration does not believe that violating the terms of your visa should result in deportation. What we are witnessing is tantamount to an open border. Millions are free to come on temporary visas and no one is required to leave."
    A comment...
    The reason that an effective entry-exit tracking systems for visa has never been adopted is simple: visa overstays could represent up to 40% of the country’s illegal aliens. That's millions of people who don't have to worry about being apprehended by the Border Patrol and who can then stay in the US as long as they want, work for low wages, and eventually vote after the next amnesty. There is no way that either of the corrupt government parties would want to close such a lucrative loophole.

    Why is the biometric exit tracking system still not in place?

    By Roy Beck

    The U.S. government prints departure dates on the tens of millions of visitor visas it issues to foreign citizens each year. But in a time when internet companies are able to track nearly every whim of individuals, our government still has little idea whether visitors obey the exit dates – or ever leave at all.
    The implementation of a biometric entry-exit screening system was one of the recommendations made in 2004 by the independent, bi-partisan 9/11 Commission. This idea was not original to the commission. In fact, it was already the law, albeit one never obeyed by the executive branch to this day.

    An automated entry-and-exit screening system for foreign nationals entering and departing from the United States was first required by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996. It is not an exaggeration to say that had such a system been in place, the 9/11 attacks may have been prevented. The Government Accountability Office, the Office of Inspector General, and the Department of Homeland Security have all recognized the imperative of having biometric exit screening in place.

    And yet, three successive administrations have failed to comply with the law, particularly the exit-tracking part of it.
    (how convenient to open borders advocates)

    Since 1996, an exasperated Congress has passed seven separate laws requiring biometric entry-exit screening. Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama have all failed in their constitutional duty to faithfully execute those laws. And for 20 years, Congress has failed to ensure its laws are taken as more than mere suggestions by the president.

    Flouting the law and refusing to implement a system designed specifically to protect Americans from terrorism and job theft is a perfect example of why the American people don’t trust their government to fix the “broken immigration system.”

    The “entry” part of the system is in fairly good shape. Most non-U.S. citizens who apply for a visa to enter the United States or enter under the Visa Waiver Program have to submit biometric information (fingerprints and a digital photograph) to U.S. consular or border officials. But upon leaving, foreigners face no biometric exit screening, outside of a few temporary pilot programs. Those who depart by air or sea are supposed to turn in a paper form (the I-94) that can be matched to a form submitted upon entry. In most cases, our federal government simply depends on good faith compliance by nonimmigrants (usually tourists, business travelers, and guest workers) to ensure that individuals honor the terms of their admission and turn in their departure form. Since an estimated 40-50 percent of unlawfully present foreign citizens (or 4.5-6 million) entered the United States legally and failed to leave the country when required, it is clear that operating on good faith is not the best way to ensure the integrity of our immigration system.

    The cost of implementing a biometric exit system has been cited as the main reason why it is not feasible, but reliable estimates demonstrate that cost is not an impediment. The Center for Immigration Studies estimated in 2013 that the cost of implementing biometric exit screening at all air and sea ports of entry would cost between $400 and $600 million, which is in-line with a 2012 DHS estimate. Entry-exit screening at all land ports would add to the costs, but the price of digital fingerprint scanners has come down in recent years as their use has become more commonplace. Balking at costs is really a red herring anyway, since the price for setting up and maintaining the screening system could be covered by nominal fees added to visa applications.

    A biometric exit system is essential to deterring visa overstays effectively. It will help to eliminate errors that regularly occur when collecting and accessing biographic data, and will make identity fraud more difficult. It is easy to steal someone else’s identity papers but not so their fingerprints. A biometric screening system will enhance and facilitate data-sharing, which will lead to better national security, while also helping to combat international terrorism. Just last month, State Department officials testified to Congress that they have revoked the visas of 9,500 foreign nationals since 2001 because they found evidence those individuals were connected to terrorism after they had been admitted into the United States. Because of the lack of a biometric exit system, the officials had to admit that they have no idea whether those 9,500 individuals are still in the United States or not.

    By identifying past visa overstayers so they can be denied future entry, a biometric exit system would serve as an effective deterrent to visa violation. If they knew they were going to be identified when they failed to undergo exit screening upon their timely departure from the United States, many of them would decide to leave when their visas expired. Deterring visa overstays protects the interest of American taxpayers and especially the American workers who must compete for jobs and wages with the millions of visa overstayers who illegally take U.S. jobs.
    Last edited by artist; 01-23-2016 at 08:46 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Solution: Stop issuing work visas.
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