Under President Joe Biden’s administration, the number of foreign nationals overstaying their visas and becoming illegal aliens has reportedly reached a record high, according to new data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The annual visa overstay report for Fiscal Year 2022 reveals that approximately 854,000 foreign nationals overstayed their visas from October 2021 to September 2022. Of these, more than 795,000 individuals remain in the United States illegally, while nearly 59,000 left the country after their visas had expired.
Jessica Vaughan, the Director of Research at the Center for Immigration Studies, suggests that this figure is likely a record high for the DHS. In comparison, in Fiscal Year 2015, around 482,000 foreign nationals overstayed their visas. The total overstay rate for 2022 was 3.64 percent, more than double the rate observed in recent years.
The report highlights several nationalities with significant visa overstays. Over 172,000 Venezuelans overstayed their visas, resulting in an overstay rate of more than 44 percent. Additionally, there were 16,750 Indian nationals, more than 25,000 Dominicans, 14,000 Ecuadorians, 21,000 Chinese nationals, and close to 22,000 Colombians who overstayed their visas.
Vaughan suggests that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should focus its efforts on enforcing federal immigration law regarding visa overstays. She also recommends that Congress should implement the same penalties for visa overstays as for individuals convicted of illegally crossing the border.
Furthermore, Vaughan emphasizes the need for Congress to press the DHS to develop a biometric entry-exit system, a long-delayed federal initiative that would help maintain the integrity of the visa programs.
Currently, estimates suggest that there are anywhere from 11 to 22 million illegal aliens residing in the United States. It has been repeatedly projected that around half of these individuals entered the country on visas and subsequently overstayed their authorized period of stay.
These alarming statistics underscore the urgent need for stronger enforcement and reforms to address the issue of visa overstays. As conservatives, we believe in the rule of law and securing our borders. It is essential to hold individuals accountable for violating their visa terms and to implement effective measures that deter future violations. By doing so, we can maintain the integrity of our immigration system and protect the interests of American citizens.