The Department of Homeland Security released a report yesterday showing that nearly 500,000 foreigners entered the U.S. and overstayed their visas in 2015. This is the first report of its kind, even though Congress ordered this report conducted nearly twenty years ago.
While illegal aliens crossing the border gain most of the media attention, data shows that visa overstays could represent up to 40% of the country’s illegal aliens. The report found that 482,781 international travelers remained in the U.S. after their visa expired in fiscal year 2015 alone.
In 1996, though the Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act Congress ordered an electronic entry/exit system to be created. In 2004 after it was revealed that 4 of the 9/11 terrorists were visa overstayers, the 9/11 Commission recommended a biometric entry/exit system. Congress approved the recommendation and has appropriated funding for the system at least 6 different times.
Recently U.S Customs and Border Protection, the agency responsible for collecting this data, has conducted several tests and currently has three pilot programs in place. Today the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest is holding a hearing on the biometric entry/exit system, which will focus on this report.
You can view the full DHS report here.
Read more on this story at The Washington Times.
Updated: Wed, Feb 3rd 2016 @ 11:25am EST