​There Is A Gaping Hole In Our Immigration System That A Wall Won't Fix

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CAPS staff - blogs and news stories on relevant topics.
August 17, 2018

With recent controversies involving families and "catch and release" policies, illegal immigration into the United States from our southern border has naturally continued to receive major national news attention. 
However, a major source of illegal immigration often overlooked by many lawmakers and the media alike is foreigners in the United States with some form of temporary legal status overstaying their visas.

Estimates of the total number of illegal aliens living in the United States range from 11-20 million people. While figures vary, it's estimated that nearly half of the illegal population are visa overstays

USA Today reported on recently released figures from the Department of Homeland Security showing the number of visa overstays in 2017:

More than 600,000 foreign travelers who legally entered the United States in 2017 overstayed their visas and remained in the country by the end of the year, according to Department of Homeland Security data released Tuesday.

Even more, 2017 marks the second straight year that more than 600,000 visitors overstayed their visas. While this gaping hole in our immigration system is known by law enforcement agencies, lawmakers in Washington have failed to implement reforms that would allow better enforcement of the entry and exist process of foreigners in the United States with temporary visa status. This could change. 

USA Today goes on to report:
President Donald Trump has urged Congress to complete a biometric entry-exit tracking system that would better monitor foreigners who legally visit the United States. Completion of that system, which uses fingerprints and iris scans to more accurately capture when people enter and exit the country, was included in an executive order he signed shortly after being sworn in as president.
CAPS advocates for numerous policies that reform our immigration system and reduce both legal and illegal immigration, with a longterm goal of stabilizing the population in the United States. One gaping hole in our immigration system that a wall won't fix is foreigners who legally enter the United States and overstay their visas.  To make real progress in reducing illegal immigration, stricter enforcement of our visa program is needed. 

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