Visa Overstays: A Gap in the Nation’s Border

Article subtitle: 
After decades, and billions of dollars, a major terror vulnerability still persists
Article author: 
Michael Cutler
Article publisher: 
FrontPage Mag
Article date: 
29 May 2017
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

A recent headline blared: Secretary of Homeland Security head says terror situation is scarier than you know.

However, the situation at the Department of Homeland Security that the Trump administration inherited when it took office is so dire, that I refer to the DHS as the “Department of Homeland Surrender.”

Unquestionably the Obama administration did incalculable damage to the security of our borders and the enforcement of our immigration laws, however, for decades a series of administrations, led by presidents from both parties, have sought to undermine national sovereignty in their push for globalism.

In my judgement, many components of the immigration system have been rendered dysfunctional with the intentional purpose of flooding America with ever increasing foreign tourists, foreign students and a veritable army of cheap and exploitable labor that displaces Americans workers and drives down the wages of  those Americans fortunate enough to keep their jobs.

This is not only in the economic bottom rung jobs but, increasingly, within the high-tech industries as well...

But before we get ahead of ourselves, the very structure of the DHS, as implemented by the administration of President George W. Bush, in the wake of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 appears to have been designed to hobble any efforts to secure our borders and/or enforce our immigration laws.

On May 5, 2005, approximately 44 months after the attacks of 9/11, the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims conducted a hearing on the topic, “New "Dual Missions" Of The Immigration Enforcement Agencies.”

There is a parallel that must be drawn in considering that the hearing was conducted 44 months after the attacks.  It took the United States and its allies 44 months to defeat the Axis nations during the Second World War...

However, as long as politicians, acting on behalf of various supremely greedy special interest groups including the United States Chamber of Commerce and its corporate allies, that are more focused on head counts on airliners than body counts in the morgue, our immigration failures will not be effectively addressed.

An area of vulnerability that was addressed by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 was the need to track the arrival and departure of nonimmigrant aliens to determine if those nonimmigrant (temporary) foreign visitors departed the United States as required by the terms of their admission into the United States...

On May 22, 2017 the Department of Homeland Security issued a press release, DHS Releases Fiscal Year 2016 Entry/Exit Overstay Report.  The press release provided note the nexus between national security and the ability to effectively track the arrival and departure of aliens. 

This excerpt illustrates part of the magnitude of the challenges we face:

The report specifies that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processed 50,437,278 in-scope nonimmigrant admissions at U.S. air and sea POEs who were expected to depart in FY16—of which 739,478 overstayed their admission, resulting in a total overstay rate of 1.47 percent. Of the more than 739,000 overstays, DHS determined 628,799 were suspected “in-country” overstays, resulting in a suspected in-country overstay rate of 1.25 percent. An individual who is a suspected in-country overstay has no recorded departure, while an out-of-country overstay has a recorded departure that occurred after their lawful admission period expired.

There was no mention, however, about aliens who are admitted or depart through land borders...