An audit performed by the Government Accountability Office revealed that the Department of Homeland Security has lost track of one million foreigners. DHS can confirm they came to the United States on valid visas, but doesn’t know either when or even if they ever left.
Although the number is significant, it nonetheless represents an improvement. One year ago, DHS had lost track of 1.6 million immigrants, according to The Daily Caller.
Visa overstays average 2.7 years.
Recognizing that a problem exists, lawmakers in both chambers have searched for a practical solution. We seem to be great at keeping track of entries — exits, not so much.
The Daily Caller noted:
The new system, which is supposed to be under government development now, should be keeping track of immigrants using biometric identifiers, like fingerprints. Any points of entry via air, sea and land would be monitored.
When DHS and Customs complained that using identifiers like DNA or fingerprints would be cumbersome, the Senate proposed biografic imagery — simple photographs — and suggested limiting tracking to only sea and air ports. But this still leaves the 32 percent who enter via land ports of entry unaccounted for, according to the Government Accountability Office.
While the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill is estimated to cut illegal immigration in half, the Congressional Budget Office also calculates that it would provide legal status to more immigrants through the guest worker program.
Of the million unaccounted for, more than half are estimated to have either left the country or attained legal status. Of the nearly half-million remaining, almost two thousand are labelled national security or public safety threats, with the location of 266 unknown as of March.
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