DHS: Majority of visa violators not investigated
Homeland Security officials Wednesday told members of the Senate that 99 percent of the more than 500,000 foreign nationals who overstayed their visas in 2015 weren’t investigated, adding most were deemed “nonpriorities” while others left voluntarily.
Meanwhile, the government deported only about 2,500 visa overstays last year, and has only about 3,000 active cases — accounting for just a small fraction of the problem.
“Probably the chances are that in our prioritization scheme, we will not get to those individuals unless they rise to the level that it meets either the national security, the criminal or the secretary’s priorities,” said Craig C. Healy, assistant director of National Security Investigations at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
At least five of the hijackers involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, attack had arrived on legal visas but overstayed, leaving them in the country to carry out their plot.
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