Some two million people have illegally crossed over the Southwest border and settled in the United States since President Biden's inauguration. Americans see the images and are justifiably concerned.
But unseen by Americans are the estimated 40 percent of the illegal immigrant population that arrived legally, then overstayed their visas. The extent of the overstay problem became apparent after the 1993 World Trade Center terror attack (three of the seven 1993 terrorists were or had been visa overstayers) when Congress mandated an annual report on overstays. Today’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy highlights the key findings of the most recent overstay report, which contains FY 2020 data. It was not released to the public until 2022, after several members of Congress questioned DHS Secretary Mayorkas about the delay in releasing it.
In 2020, approximately 684,000 people did not leave the country when their authorized stay was over. The most concerning news is that short-term visits – such as for tourism or business trips and which generate more than half of all overstays – worsened significantly. The report details, by number and rate of overstay, the countries and categories that remain a problem.
Jessica Vaughan, the Center’s Director of Policy Studies and a former Foreign Service Officer with the State Department, voices concern over the lack of a commitment to address the problem and offers recommendations, for agencies and for Congress, to address the persistent problem of visa overstays. In his closing commentary, Mark Krikorian, the Center’s Executive Director and host of Parsing Immigration Policy, discusses the Biden administration’s use of the courts to generate what he calls a “stealth amnesty”. To address the over two million-person backlog in the illegal immigration court system, the Biden administration is simply dismissing cases.
Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of Parsing Immigration Policy, moderates this rebroadcast of the Center's recent panel.
Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.
Jessica Vaughan, the Center’s Director of Policy Studies.
Voices in the opening montage:
- Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
- Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
- President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
- Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
- Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
- Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
- Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
- Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
- Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
- Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".