Overstayed your visa? No problem in Obama's America
Of the more than half a million foreign nationals who overstayed their visitor visas, less than one percent ended up being deported, according to figures from the Department of Homeland Security.
Since 2009, the number of visa overstays who were deported has decreased every year.
Not only has the administration failed to deport these individuals, but it doesn't know where most of them are.
Of the 482,781 aliens who were recorded to have overstayed temporary U.S. visas in fiscal year 2015, just 2,456 were successfully deported from the United States during the same period, according to DHS’s figures, which amounts to a deportation rate of around 0.5 percent.
The sinking rate of deportations by the Obama administration is drawing criticism from Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are warning that the administration is ignoring illegal overstays and potentially opening the United States to terrorist threats.
The 482,781 figure accounts for aliens who entered the United States on a nonimmigrant visitor visa or through the Visa Waiver Program, which streamlines travel between the United States and certain other countries. The figure encompasses foreign nationals who were found to have remained in the United States after their visas expired or after the 90-day window allowed by the Visa Waiver Program.
The actual number of overstays could be higher. The latest figures published by DHS do not include overstays from other visa categories or overstays by individuals who entered the United States through land ports, such as those along the Mexican border.
Deportations by the Obama administration have decreased steadily since 2009, according to figures codified by the Senate’s Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest and provided to the Washington Free Beacon.
Since 2009, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has expelled 51,704 individuals who overstayed their visas. The total number of those expelled has decreased every fiscal year.
At least 12,538 illegal overstays were deported in fiscal 2009, while 11,259 were removed in 2010, 10,426 in 2011, 6,856 in 2012, 4,240 in 2013, 3,564 in 2014, and 2,456 in 2015, according to the committee.
The drop is being attributed by sources to an Obama administration policy directing DHS and ICE not to pursue visa overstays unless the offender has been convicted of major crimes or terrorism.
Glad to know that the administration has some standards when it comes to deporting visa overstays. Of course, if the visa scofflaws murder or rape someone, we have to wait until they're convicted before kicking them out, rather then getting them out of the country before they commit their crimes.
Not that we've ever ascribed logic to the administration's immigration policies, but perhaps the president might consider the safety of the American people just once when coming up with these cockamamie ideas about ignoring visa overstays.