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Welcome to Year 20 of the White House Stalling Congress on Visa Overstayers

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From the NYT:

U.S. Doesn’t Know How Many Foreign Visitors Overstay Visas
By RON NIXON JAN. 1, 2016

WASHINGTON — The question from the congressman to the Obama administration official was straightforward enough: How many foreign visitors overstay their visas every year?

The reply was simple too, but not in a satisfying way. “We don’t know,” the official said. …

Nearly 20 years ago, Congress passed a law requiring the federal government to develop a system to track people who overstayed their visas. After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, an entry and exit tracking system was seen as a vital national security and counterterrorism tool, and the 9/11 Commission recommended that the Department of Homeland Security complete a system “as soon as possible.” Two of the 9/11 hijackers, Satam al-Suqami and Nawaf al-Hazmi, had overstayed their visas.

Since then, the federal government has spent millions of dollars on the effort, yet officials can only roughly estimate the number of people in the United States illegally after overstaying visas.

Officials blame a lack of technology to conduct more advanced collection of data like iris scans, resistance from the airline and tourism industries because of cost, and questions about the usefulness of tracking people exiting the country as a counterterrorism measure.

Some experts also note that a sizable number of those who overstayed their visas are highly skilled workers who come under the H-1B program or are foreign students.

So, therefore, law-breaking is good because the people’s representatives shouldn’t have made those laws.

One widely cited statistic, from a 1997 report by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, puts the number of people who overstay their visas at 40 percent — which now would mean about 4.4 million of the estimated 11 million undocumented residents in the United States. Numerous lawmakers, including the Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, have used that figure when trying to describe the scope of the problem. But even that number has never been conclusively substantiated.

Federal agencies have not provided a new report to Congress on overstays since 1994, despite the congressional mandate.

In early 2013, Janet Napolitano, then the secretary of Homeland Security, testified before Congress that the agency planned to issue a report on overstay rates by December 2013. The agency did not follow through because officials said they did not have confidence in the quality of the data. Mr. Bersin said last month that the report would be issued in the next six months.

Many members of Congress and some law enforcement officials worry that terrorists could exploit the visa program because the United States does not routinely collect biometric information — fingerprints, iris scans and photographs that can be used for facial recognition — of people leaving the country. Nearly three dozen countries, including many in Europe, Asia and Africa, collect such information.

“U.S. airports and other entry and exit points were never designed with departure control in mind,” said Theresa Cardinal Brown, the director of Immigration Policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington and a Department of Homeland Security official under President George W. Bush. “If we want to do that it’s going to mean building a lot more infrastructure.”

It’s too bad that technology for computers, video cameras, and chip-driven sensors are getting bulkier and slower every year, which is why information technology is getting worse annually. Notice how electric computers have been replaced by diesels and recently steam powered computers, with pit ponies the inevitable next stage.

The 9/11 Commission report called the establishment of an entry and exit biometric system “fundamental to intercepting terrorists” trying to enter the United States because it would allow law enforcement officials to determine if a traveler had overstayed a visa.

Still, efforts to build such a system to collect the information have stalled for decades.

In 2004, lawmakers passed legislation that required Homeland Security officials to accelerate their efforts to create an automated biometric entry and exit data system.

Congress repeated its demand for a biometric exit system in 2007 and set a deadline for 2009. But the deadline passed, with the department putting into place only a handful of pilot programs.

Since then, the department has continued to struggle to meet this requirement. A 2013 report by the Government Accountability Office said the Department of Homeland Security had more than one million “unmatched” arrival records, meaning that those records could not be checked against other information showing that the individuals had left the country, but again the department could not offer a precise number.

Despite the call by some lawmakers for an exit system, airports and the airline industry have balked because it would cost airlines $3 billion, according to a 2013 Homeland Security estimate. The Department of Homeland Security issued regulations in 2008 requiring airports to collect biometric exit information, but carriers have largely ignored the regulation, and there have been no sanctions.

It’s almost as if the last three Presidents didn’t really care about enforcing immigration laws.


59 Comments to "Welcome to Year 20 of the White House Stalling Congress on Visa Overstayers"

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  1. a man who works immigration commented at ann althouse’s blog:

    >There are, of course, many more ways to enter the country legally. Many more visa’s one can enter on, to work, or to perform in a band, or olympics, etc. But these three, students, visitors for pleasure and visa waivers are the most common.

    You fix these three things and you fix a lot of our “Visa Overstay” problem.<

    the rest here:

    Reply More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  2. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    steve, please make a guest appearance on the millennial woes hangout. There’s still time:

  3. Since then, the federal government has spent millions of dollars on the effort, yet officials can only roughly estimate the number of people in the United States illegally after overstaying visas.

    Is this the same federal government that is going to vet the Syrian refugees?

  4. Government bureaucrats do a great job of explaining why they can’t do anything.

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  5. I worked in a beach resort town with a number of J1 visa workers, mostly from Eastern Europe. Out of 11 coworkers in 2014, 4 remained in the United States after their visas expired. All 4 are still here. In 2013, out of 12 coworkers, 5 remained after their visas expired (1 of them stole $1100, fled to St Louis, and is still free).

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  6. A biometric ID for all persons in the United States, citizens and non-citizens alike, is the answer. It would be produced whenever you use a credit card, cash a check, etc..

    • Replies: , , , ,
  7. …an entry and exit biometric system “fundamental to intercepting terrorists” trying to enter the United States because it would allow law enforcement officials to determine if a traveler had overstayed a visa.

    So with this system we can intercept terrorists who are trying to enter the country, having overstayed a visa on a prior visit?

  8. Here’s an idea for an immigration reform which is compassionate but has teeth. If you are over 18 and you are discovered to be in the country illegally, your biometric data is taken, and you are given 1 year to wrap up your affairs and leave the country, and if you do so future LEGAL attempts to enter the country will not be prejudiced, you will be forgiven. However, if you are found to be in the USA illegally after the 12 months is up, you must serve 12 months in Federal Prison after which you will be kicked out and prohibited from entering the USA legally for 20 years (only exceptions would be people with foreign diplomatic credentials or who are allowed in on an individual basis by an Act Of Congress).

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  9. It’s almost as if the last three Presidents didn’t really care about enforcing immigration laws.

    They were more interested in ruling the world than governing our country, as were those who funded their campaigns.

  10. Luke Lea,

    You’ve described the evil empire’s endgame well with regard to tying ALL economic activities to ALL respective participants via bio-metric identification protocols.

    As that endgame is being worked out, other sectors within the Empire are working day and night to tie-in ALL healthcare-related activities to the same bio-metric ID system.

    At that point, drinking the canned brew product of one’s choice while watching others chase inflated and non-inflated balls around a large, flat-screen television won’t provide the numbing effect it once did.

    A multi-variable mass of electrons stamping on humanity’s face forever after.

  11. I don’t get it. First, I visited the US about ten times under the visa waiver program. Still I had to submit an online request for that including my passport number and a lot of other data. Before entering the country, I was questioned by an immigration officer, and my fingerprints and photograph was taken. So I assume this happenes to anyone entering with a visa as well. The expiration date is known, and you have to produce your passport when checking in for your return flight. So if the airlines submit their passenger lists with passport numbers when the passenger leaves the US, this can be checked against the known and finite list of people who have entered the country and whose visas have not yet expired. If and when an expiry date passes and no record has been submitted by an airline of the person having left the country, the system give a red flag and that person is automatically assumed to have overstayed his/her visa. No biometrical data needed, just a decent database.

    Facebook knows when my birthday is, and my friends’ birthdays, and can send me reminders, so why can’t the federal government know when a person’s visa has expired and whether there is a record of that person having left? Seems no more complicated.

    I don’t see the need for biometrical data, but if they are capable of taking my data when entering (as they have done a dozen times), why can’t they do so when leaving? I don’t buy the technology argument for one minute.

    • Agree: Romanian, slumber_j
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  12. …other sectors within the Empire are working day and night to tie-in ALL healthcare-related activities to the same bio-metric ID system.

    All straight healthcare-related activity. Surrogacy and similar mischief won’t be touched. Just watch.

  13. I often wonder why Congress can’t do simple things to enforce its prerogatives.

    Such as:
    Not funding the pay of the top five officials in any government department. The President can appoint and the Senate can even confirm, but there has to be an authorized line item to issue a pay check. Or, requiring the Secretary of XX to appear before a committee every Tuesday at 9AM to provide an answer to a question like the one noted above.

    This is how the British Parliament treated uncooperative royal officials back when the power balance with the king wasn’t so one sided. Make them comply with the rules, no matter how small or unimportant.

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  14. The USA is the ONLY country I have ever been to where immigration does NOT check you out of the country. Why?

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  15. We could make enforcement better if we forced people to go thru immigration also when they leave they country, as Europe does.

  16. Problem: The government isn’t doing its job and is letting God-knows-who wander around the country.

    Solution: Give the government Orwellian levels of information about its citizens’ whereabouts.

    That makes a lot of sense.

    Yes, I know that the government already knows anything and everything that’s worth knowing about anyone and everyone. But there was a time – not so long ago – when the idea of a “biometric ID” controlled by the state was something out of a totalitarian nightmare.

    This is all part of the plan, you know. Open the borders and let the lowest form of scum roam freely about our lands; then throw up your hands and say, “We need a biometric ID to keep track of everyone! There’s no other way to find out who’s here!”

    Don’t let them manipulate you.

  17. (refusing to implement tracking of entry and exit by visa holders) It’s almost as if the last three Presidents didn’t really care about enforcing immigration laws.

    Add Congress’s refusal to fund the border fence for the last ten years. The recent omnibus spending bill could have included it but The House refused to do so. But it did find time to include (in Omnibus) the huge new addition to electronic eavesdropping by the FedGuv- The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA)
    I’m blaming the deep state

  18. Sam Francis called this “anarchotyranny”.

  19. It seems kinda pointless and unpopular to ask this here but what, exactly, do you guys expect an accurate visa overstay system to accomplish?

    These systems will simply flag people who have transitioned from legal status to become illegal immigrants. However, currently the US simply doesn’t have a policy to deport illegals from the interior. Why would the airlines put up with the hassle of a costly and cumbersome data collection system if it won’t be used for anything other than collecting statistics?

  20. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Do you ever wonder if computers have destroyed the country? And maybe most Western countries?

    Western welfare democracies run by computer. We can deal with masses of data, mail out more welfare checks to the exact address, track an exact caseload, and do all that sort of stuff better than ever before in history.

    But as soon as the problem goes “off computer” (say, because people are willing to lie), it’s “off the radar”. The old people-part of the government can’t deal with it. They are probably too busy staring at their computer screens.

    (Off course, the best reason for a problem to be “off computer” is that the government never wanted to deal with it in the first place. “How can we do anything? The computer system isn’t up to it.”)

    If you actually had government immigration people who actually had to deal directly with immigrants, and not with automated immigrant-handling computer systems, maybe things would be different.

  21. Congress has always remained far more unpopular than the President, anything they did like this would be condemned in the media as “obstructionism”. (Assuming a GOP congress)

    For a variety of reasons, the unofficial powers of the President have increased, as has the office’s ability to impugn “lese majeste” on its opponents. When the ATF was caught smuggling guns to Mexican cartels, the Black Caucus and the D-MC called it a racist witch hunt when Holder was called to testify and then censured.

    The fourth branch of government, the Megaphone, has the ability to stop at least two of the three actual branches.

  22. Given how incompetent the US government is with border control, how about bringing in some foreign experts – I’m sure Japan, Switzerland and Singapore have some useful ideas.

  23. It’s amazing what government can’t do when it doesn’t really want to do it.

  24. Penalties for people who have overstayed their visas are summarized in an article titled “Consequences of Unlawful Presence in the U.S. — Three- and Ten-Year Time Bars”.

    In the late 199s …. Congress created a penalty that prevents people from coming or returning to the United States for three years or ten years, depending on how long they stayed unlawfully in the country. These are often referred to as the “time bars,” or the “three- and ten-year bars.” ….

    “Unlawful” is a difficult legal term. …. Student visa cases can be particularly tricky, because students are admitted for the “duration of status” — that is, for as long as it takes them to complete their studies, instead of being given an exact expiration date on their U.S. stay. ….

    …. the time bars is that (with rare exceptions) they are imposed only on people who are overseas and trying to return to the United States, not people who are already here ….

    Unfortunately, a number of people have no choice but to leave the U.S. and apply for their immigrant visa and green card through an overseas U.S. consulate, either because they are already overseas, or because they are in the United States but ineligible to use the U.S. green card application procedure called “adjustment of status”. …

    If you are one of these people, the time bars could delay your immigrating to the United States as follows:

    • Three Years. If you’ve spent more than 180 continuous days (approximately six months) in the United States unlawfully, you could be barred from coming back for three years.

    • Ten Years. If you’ve spent more than one continuous year in the United States unlawfully, you could be barred from coming back for ten years. ….

    The law punishes only “continuous” presence, so a few months here and there don’t count, as long as no single stay lasted 180 days or more.

    If you have a time-bar problem, don’t give up yet — especially if you are married to, or are the child of, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. In that case, you are one of the lucky few who can ask for forgiveness, known in legal jargon as a waiver. …. To be eligible, you will have to show that if you don’t get the visa, your U.S. spouse or parent will suffer extreme hardship. …. Financial hardship will also be taken into consideration. ….

    …. the time bars are not imposed on applicants who are within the United States, are eligible to get their green card by adjusting status here, and who do not leave. So if you are eligible to file your green card application (adjust status) in the United States, do so, and stay put until your application is granted.

    … the provisional waiver, instituted in 2013, allows immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to request a waiver from USCIS after their I-130 has been approved but before their consular interview has been scheduled.

    I suggest the following reforms.

    * Remove the loophole that only continuous overstays are penalized. For example, two 90-day overstays will equal one 180-day overstay.

    * All student visas have an expiration date. All extensions must be formally requested, justified and approved.

    * Everyone who has overstayed a visa must be penalized when he applies for a new visa. If he overstayed less than a month, then he pays a fine when he applies for his new visa. If he overstayed more than a month, then he pays a fine and his new visa is delayed exponentially.

    * Everyone who has overstayed a visa more than one month must leave the USA and apply for a new visa abroad at a US consulate or embassy.

    * A person who has married a US resident while on an expired visa may never use that marriage as a basis for requesting permanent residence or citizenship or any other marriage benefit.

    The next US President should order immediately that the US Government publish a comprehensive study about foreigners overstaying their visas.

    The next President should also direct that the “biometric” requirement no longer be used as an excuse to not do anything at all. While biometric systems are being developed, visa-holders exits will be tracked by other, simpler, practical methods.

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  25. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    The virus attacking America’s traditional demographics targeted the visa exit-after-entry because it’s a key aspect of immigration in the bookkeeping sense.

    All exit scrutiny of visa entry foreigners was shut down or killed just like white blood cell immune system defender cells are killed by a virus.

  26. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    There should be no more expansion of the surveillance state for Americans unless (and even then maybe not) basic steps, such as closing our nation’s borders and keeping track of foreign visitors here on visas, are taken to increase our country’s security. Until that happens the “war on terror” can be seen as little more than a farce.

  27. says:
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  28. Has anyone on the alt-right considered responding to this situation with a little jujitsu? Instead of lamenting the loophole, why not use it to tilt US demographics more in your direction?

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  29. Really, there is no one better at making the case in hostile environments than Ann Coulter, and she does it with a smile on her face. Virtuosic.

    Learned something new there, that Trump asked her for an advanced copy of Adios America after seeing her on Jorge Ramos’s show. She took on all comers there.

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  30. All student visas have an expiration date.

    They already do. Every student is issued a Form I-20 by their schools (which they must take to the US consulates in their countries to get visa stamps). This form contains an explicit expiration date, after which the student’s presence on US soil is illegal. Immigration officers at ports of entry examine these forms, without which the student will not be allowed to enter, so I don’t see why there’s a problem in counting student visa overstayers.

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  31. I would apply penalties to the sending countries as well as the overstaying individuals.

    That is, assign a non-immigrant visa quota to Brazil, of 1,000,000, for the sake of argument.

    If 100,000 people overstay their visas, next year’s quota is 900,000, and the reductions accumulate.

    If a Brazilian national commits an act of terrorism here, the visa quota is cut by 50% for ten years.

    Visas issued by nation, below. 2015 report is not complete.

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  32. “The USA is the ONLY country I have ever been to where immigration does NOT check you out of the country. Why?”

    The UK didn’t either, for many years. It’s still being phased in AFAIK. A feature, not a bug, IMHO, so it’s only public opinion that’s made it happen.

    “It will enable the government, for the first time in a long time, to have an idea of who’s left in Britain, because up until recently it’s not been possible for the government to know who’s overstayed their visa and who’s remained in the country, and they’ve not known who’s here and who’s left.”

  33. “Really, there is no one better at making the case in hostile environments than Ann Coulter”

    Jeremy Paxman was generally regarded as the BBCs most fearsome interviewer. I loved it when (in 2006) he picked her up on the topic of liberal hegemony at 5:36

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  34. “A biometric ID for all persons in the United States, citizens and non-citizens alike, is the answer. It would be produced whenever you use a credit card, cash a check, etc..”

    How about a bar-code label on your arm? The profferred solution is always ever more control and surveillance of citizens, while visa-jumpers will still go and do as they please. As another commenter mentioned, this has a name – anarcho-tyranny.

    The solution to the problem of people overstaying their visas is to a.) not issue as many visas to people from certain countries, and b.) not issue any visas at all to people from certain other countries.

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  35. I’ll take option 3: wait a year, not show up for my deportation hearing, and if they ever do catch up to me, lawyer up and buy myself another 10 years.

    The only solution is not letting in high risk visa overstayers in the first place.

  36. Last three presidents? You leaving out the guy who brought us amnesty?

    Foreign born population 1980 v 1990

    Latin America 4,372,487 / 8,407,837
    Africa 199,723 / 363,819
    Europe 5,149,572 / 4,350,403
    Asia 2,539,777 / 4,979,037
    Canada 853,427 / 753,917

    Yes, when Reagan was elected, there were more European immigrants living in the USA than Latin American immigrants.

    Hispanic population 1990 v 1980 21,900,089 / 14,603,683

  37. All comments proposing “solutions” have made the fatal error of presuming that the state serves the people. Every one of the comments’ proposing “solutions” hand the power over those “solutions” to the state, which does not serve us, the people.

    The state serves the state itself, so that the state’s minions can, and do, serve our NAFTA-GATT-TPP-Globalist Enemedia-Pravda-owning overlords; because those overlords pick and choose and puppet the Monoparty-Duopoly elect who, in turn, use the state to do what its, and our, Globalist overlords want. No matter whom the overlords’ riches pick to be their “political” kabuki candidates – the so-called “elect,” with every “election” the state grows in size, cost, and power and its, and our, Globalist overlords get richer while we, the people, suffer evermore state indifference to and contempt for our welfare, rights and liberties via the state’s imposition of evermore Globalist-benefitting, state-that-serves-the-state-itself state power upon us.

    The only actual solution consists therefore in a constitutional convention aimed at reordering the nation’s political and regulatory institutions to eliminate GATT-Globalist overlord power over us, to restore citizen power over our political institutions so that those institutions serve the us, the people, instead of serving our Globalist overlords and their present state minions. Want a tip on that?

    Don’t. Hold. Your. Breath.

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  38. Don’t want to have problems with visa overstayers or unwanted immigrants, in general? Then don’t invite them into the country. Like the Japanese, allow immigrants that offer a specific service to the country, then see that they leave once that service or contract is fulfilled. The United States has long outlived its need for immigration of any sort – we don’t need Somalis, we don’t need Afghans, we don’t need Iraqis, or Mexicans or Europeans, for that matter.

    Once we were a self-sufficient country; we could be that again, but not with the mindset that permeates our upper echelon of government and business and education ‘leaders’. We are an example, the prime example, of capitalism allowed to run amok. I like capitalism, don’t get me wrong, but benevolent capitalism, not arrogant capitalism.

    Immigration should be stopped, the mess sorted out, and then allowed again only with the most restrained conditions.

  39. The chief problem with a Constitutional Convention is that every thing is up for grabs, not just the limited aims which you propose. Remember your history: The Constitution came out of a supposed convention to amend the Articles of Confederation. Can you imagine getting a one-page document out of a convention with the blow-hards that plague our halls of government today? LOL.

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  40. 1500 words and not one of them “immig…!”

    NYT, 01/01/16 – Over 50, Female and Jobless Even as Others Return to Work

    The latest signs of an improving economy were good enough to help persuade the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. But the better job market is not good enough to land Chettie McAfee a job.

    Laid off at the start of the recession from the diagnostic testing firm in Seattle where she spent more than three decades, Ms. McAfee, 58, has not worked since 2007. “I’ve been applying and applying and applying,” said Ms. McAfee, who has relied on her savings and family to get by as she fights off attempts to foreclose on her home. At interviews, she said, “They ask, ‘Why has it been so long?’”

    At 5 percent, the jobless rate may be close to what economists consider full employment, but that headline figure doesn’t capture the challenges still facing millions of Americans who have yet to regain their footing in the workplace.

    Ms. McAfee is part of a group that has found the postrecession landscape particularly difficult to navigate: women over 50…

    Forty years of uncontrolled legal and illegal immigration has drastically increased the supply of labor and stomped on wages, for every woman in this article and especially for the lower and working classes.

    Q: “How long people take to find a new job has been much longer than in previous recessions,”…“The natural question is, Why?”

    A: Immigration.

    Chettie McAfee: “I did everything you’re supposed to do”

    No you did one thing wrong, as did every woman in this article, you voted for the wrong politicians every time!

  41. It doesn’t work that way. If you go this path then suddenly you will have Russia sending the US an invoice for helping out in Syria and then collecting the money from ordinary Americans if the government is not paying…

    There are things you don’t do because it will come back and hurt you. Besides, no government is going to pay for those invoices except if the US sends gunboats to collect. And then comes the example with Russia above.

  42. As a European I can’t help noticing that the US Congress is clamping down on travel from Visa Waiver countries(we still need visas btw because ESTA is a visa in all but name) and seem unable to clamp down on many other forms of travel to the US. It’s almost as if they don’t want to stop Mexicans from sneaking in or Indians overstaying the student visas and instead target the (mostly) honest travellers.

    I see the number 40% of overstayers and that just has to be complete BS. It may be true for certain categories but obviously not for the tourists. After all, the US only admits people with funds from countries outside of the visa-waiver system(and the high application fee for visas explains to a lot of people they need not apply) and those people tend to be people who can usually have a pleasant life back home.

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  43. The US leaves it to the airline check-in counter to tear out the visa, or visa-waiver card, and have done so in all the years I have been travelling to the US, 40 years.

    I have sent in cards that the airline-check in have missed, so I guess they don’t really care.

    You don’t really have to board the plane after you have checked in.

    Since they now charge $14 for ESTA,why not issue an electronic chip that is read on the bridge to the plane, and afterwards the usual headcount in the plane (so no one is bringing another’s chip).

    That means that electronic checkins could be done, and the papercard no longer attached to the passport.

    This would of course mean that even American citizens must have a readable chip in their passports.

  44. Biometric ids infringe on our liberties as much as gun control does. Both impose new restrictions on law abiding citizens while letting the crooks do as they please. I do not want to live in a country where I am required to respond to, “Papers, please.”

    Anarcho-tyranny, indeed.

  45. says:
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    All of the 9/11 hijacker-terrorists were “visa-overstayers”. They killed over 3,000 Americans.

  46. Every student is issued a Form I-20 by their schools (which they must take to the US consulates in their countries to get visa stamps). This form contains an explicit expiration date, after which the student’s presence on US soil is illegal.

    Here is what immigration lawyer Ilona Bray wrote:

    Student visa cases can be particularly tricky, because students are admitted for the “duration of status” — that is, for as long as it takes them to complete their studies, instead of being given an exact expiration date on their U.S. stay.

  47. Every student is issued a Form I-20 by their schools (which they must take to the US consulates in their countries to get visa stamps). This form contains an explicit expiration date, after which the student’s presence on US soil is illegal.

    Here is a comment in Ann Althouse’s blog:

    …. I’ve been working US Immigration since the Clinton Era. Since before this law was passed. Hopefully I know what I’m talking about. …..

    … if you present a student visa (F1) then you are admitted for D/S, which stands for Duration of Status. This can be a big problem because it’s difficult to determine when a student is out of status. Sure, it seems simple, but it’s not. And since there is no firm date, it’s their actions that determine when they are out of status. If we can’t keep track of people who stay past their admission date, how do we keep track of students who aren’t acting like students anymore and are therefore “out of status”?? ….

    The student visa thing is a particular bee in my bonnet. We make it way, way, way too easy to become an authorized school for international students. As a result, we have schools in this country, located in strip malls, with 2 employees, that take in 1500 students a year. Students who live in New York, or the south, and the school is located in Los Angeles.

    The F1 student program is a huge mess. Someone comes into government and cleans that program up and you’d go a long way to getting rid of visa overstays.

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  48. Dutch Reader,

    You make it too simple. There has got to be something seriously wrong with your argument. On the other hand, maybe it is that simple and there is something seriously wrong with the calibre of the government employees administering the visa program. I don’t know … okay, my vote is that you are right and the government employees chartered with administering the visa program are incompetent.

  49. Biometric ID

    Most people we want to enter the US have credit or bank cards not to mention cell phones. So if you get that information you can tell more or less if they are in the US. So instead of a passport just let people in if they have valid bank, credit and cellphone histories. Virtually all people we would actually want visiting the US would at this point have such information.

    Forcing cell companies to allow foreign phones to work in the US would also be a great way to track normal people.

    What about the odd ball sad stories. All the bureaucrats that are freed up from tracking normal law abiding people with credit cards and cellphones can now devote special attention to the remaining oddballs, perhaps even giving them a cellphone they can use in the US and even a bank card.

    What’s with passports anyway? Needing a book for any purpose is just not modern.

  50. Chip em on the way in.
    Ten years for removing/aiding in the removal of chips.
    Chips explode the day after the visa does.

  51. “Dutch Reader…there has got to be something seriously wrong with your argument.”

    Yes, there is. It’s the problem faced by people who have to take a system from mostly workable to workable enough to not p!ss off tens of thousands of people. Think Obamacare website or Apple Maps.

    Lest you think this is simply making excuses for doing nothing, let’s be clear that these concerns wouldn’t matter if the end goal was worthwhile. Well, what’s the end goal? The system already works pretty well in preventing people from switching back-and-forth between legal and illegal. So all these changes are supposedly about detecting people who make the one-way transition from legal to illegal.

    However, its longstanding US policy that the US doesn’t deport you simply for being undocumented. Otherwise newspapers wouldn’t have run op-eds by potential Dreamers. So what exactly is the point of having a complex system for automatically flagging something which triggers no action.

  52. Agreed. A Constitutional Convention would be a leftist disaster egged on by the MSM. Those who think this era’s equivalent of the Founding Fathers will be there are capital-F Fools. Think Chuck Schumer, Al Sharpton, etc.

  53. It’s almost as if they don’t want to stop Mexicans from sneaking in or Indians overstaying the student visas and instead target the (mostly) honest travellers.

    This is standard political strategy that is seen in the US and I would be surprised if it’s not seen in Europe too. Here are variations on the theme:

    1.) When Obama faced a threat of gov’t shut-down on funding issues, he closed national parks but kept useless departments fully staffed.
    2.) When towns and cities face voters who won’t approve spending increases, they cut down fire and police protection but keep the Office of Diversity fully staffed.

    The lesson: You don’t like the effects of government cutbacks, well then provide the funds to keep gov’t fully funded. In the case of immigration – you don’t like the effects of tougher security on travelers, then keep the border open.

  54. I used to be a foreign student once, so I’m speaking from experience. I have the I-20 forms with the validity dates to show for it. The lawyer is right about admittance in the US being for the “duration of status” but omits to say that said duration is clearly indicated on the I-20 form. A foreign student carries two different permits: (1) the visa stamp on the passport that specifies a validity period for entry into the US but doesn’t say anything about how long the student may legally reside in the country (a D/S is marked on the I-94 card upon entry); (2) an I-20 form issued by the school that says that the student must complete his/her studies by date XYZ. So students staying in the country beyond date XYZ are de facto illegal. Any new issuance or renewal of an I-20 is communicated to (and IIRC, countersigned) by the USCIS, so I’m not sure why there is a confusion about how long a student is allowed to stay in the US. (These facts were communicated to me very clearly very soon after I got acceptance letters from universities.)

    Fake schools and abuse of the student visa program seem to be real issues, though I don’t see what they have to do with the ability to track whether a given student is overstaying his/her visa.

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  55. Thanks for the info.

    I think that the visa stamp should specify an expiration date.

  56. I used to work for a nonprofit that employed many foreigners on a variety of visas. It was a legitimate nonprofit that tried to be upright and follow the law. Most of the foreigners were from the young end of their home countries’ bourgeois class, so, not “huddled masses”. Still, it was hard not to notice certain patterns in nationality and immigration behavior.

    Western Europeans almost all returned to their home countries more or less on time before visa expiry. Eastern Europeans, South Americans, Turks and Asians were more mixed. Some returned home, some skipped out and overstayed, some stayed more or less legitimately (marriage, new job with new visa, etc.). As for Africans, I never saw a single one return home once they got here.

  57. Jujitsu-ing immortal bureaucratic boondoggles into being more favorable if they can’t be eliminated is a good idea … in theory. Unfortunately, if by tilting “US demographics more in your direction” you mean more toward the pre-1965 ethnic composition, in this case the immigration pressure is exactly the opposite of what you would want for such jujitsu to work in practice. The people north and west of the Hajnal line have perfectly nice countries to return to and they usually do, even if offered an open invitation here.

    The less desirable peoples’ home countries are, the more desirous they are of coming here, and the more motivated they are to walk though any and all loopholes to do it. As long as there are loopholes, those will be the people squeezing through them. See comment above in reply to Hokie (#56?).

    Overall, the problem resembles the Douglas Adams/Ann Barnhardt analysis of political power: the more someone wants it, the less fit they are to have it. In immigration, the prospective immigrants we might actually want are the ones with the least incentive to come here. To the extent both problems are solvable, the solution probably involves reducing the attractions to psychopath politicians/scamster immigrants. For political office this means keeping government small, limited, and unremunerative. For immigration this means immigration insurance, desubsidization, disemployment, and speedy deportation. Except for immigration insurance, all of these things existed here in living memory.

  58. Yes, Ann Coulter really is the Queen of walking into the lion’s den of hostile media, defending the truth without a script against well prepped opponents who preemptively claim the high ground, and emerging unbroken and unbowed … and with good humor intact! There is no one better at this difficult and unforgiving game.

    That said, she made a misstep in the BBC Newsnight interview posted by Anon. At 1:44, as soon as the words “language” and “tone” came out of Evan Davis’s mouth, she should have cut him off and turned the subject onto him with something like, “Since you’re now asking me about ‘language’ and ‘tone’, I see that you have no quibble with the actual substance of my book.”

    Instead, by letting him gas on, she had to walk through the obviously awaiting trap of being called “racist”, which she dealt with creditably, but she burned up valuable interview minutes deflecting the R-word when she could have been showing that Davis and the immigrants are actually the racist and intolerant wreckers. At 5:11 she does finally manage to drive the truck back out of the ditch and does immediately begin rolling over Davis with it. Davis, his “racism” trick is disposed of, immediately begins pleading for mercy, the wanker. Being polite and well bred, Ann grants him clemency. Being a perfidious pansy, Davis immediately uses his breathing room to re-try his only interview technique: character assassination, this time using a “gay marriage” knife. Ann deals with it more efficaciously this time.

  59. I agree, its easier than deporting them since that a fight. If this was done, once its entered on a database for a job and it shows your work visa is expired no job. This means a lot of immigrants go home. As for Eastern Europe, a lot of those countries are now apart of the Eu and go to places like England and Germany. England has the second highest number of poles. Luke Lee has a great idea that both parties don’t like because of civil liberties from the Left and the Right-Ron Paul and Rand Paul.

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