While much of our attention in the struggle to contain illegal immigration is focused on our southern border, the reason for that focus is because it produces the images demanded by today’s “journalism.” We see Border Patrol agents, and hundreds of illegal immigrants, we see illegal immigrants forcing their way over barriers, we see them arrested and deported. While there is no denying that is an issue, the fact is that and estimated 62% of all illegals arrived in the US legally using a tourist or student visa and simply didn’t go home. These are what is known as “visa overstays.”
The report released Wednesday by the Center for Migration Studies of New York finds that from 2016-2017, people who overstayed their visas accounted for 62 percent of the newly undocumented, while 38 percent had crossed a border illegally.
“It is clear from our research that persons who overstay their visas add to the US undocumented population at a higher rate than border crossers. This is not a blip, but a trend which has become the norm,” said Donald Kerwin, CMS’ executive director, in a statement. “As these numbers indicate, construction of hundreds of more miles of border wall would not address the challenge of irregular migration into our country, far from it.”
The study also finds that the undocumented population from Mexico fell by almost 400,000 people in 2017 and that since 2010, the number of undocumented from that country fell by 1.3 million.
Of particular concern are those persons coming from “non visa waiver program” countries. These are countries whose nationals require a visa to enter the US. That status is driven by, among other things, the propensity of those nationals to not return home. These are the top offending nations:
The Trump administration is taking aim at this part of the illegal immigration equation.
In its statement announcing the move, the White House said recommendations from the Departments of State and Homeland Security on limiting nonimmigrant visa overstays are due within 120 days.
One step under consideration, according to the White House, is the suspension or restriction of entry for individuals from countries with high overstay rates.
“The rampant problem of visa overstays is undermining the rule of law and straining resources that are needed to address the crisis at our southern border,” the statement reads.
The move is aimed at countries with visa overstay rates of higher than 10 percent — a figure that applies to 20 countries — as well as those participating in the Visa Waiver Program.
Immigration attorney David Leopold said the memorandum “looks like a first step toward a future plan to ban visitors from certain African countries” with high overstay rates.
I included that last graf so you can anticipate the next line of lawfare against the Trump administration. Because an overlarge portion of the visa overstay list are African countries, the administration is going to be accused, in a replay of the “travel ban” sham, of banning black people from the United States.