Good News: DHS Can’t Report On The Number Of Visa Overstays

Posted: Jan 27, 2016 3:45 PM

Yes, this latest development from the Department of Homeland Security should definitely give any American pause regarding tracking those in our country who have overstayed their visas. A new Government Accountability Office report shows that the federal agency has no capacity whatsoever to accurately track these people (via Free Beacon):

The Department of Homeland Security remains unable to accurately report the number of aliens who illegally overstay their visas into the country more than 12 years after the agency was ordered to employ a tracking system to monitor these individuals, according to a new government oversight report that is highly critical of the department’s efforts.

More than 12 years after DHS was ordered to implement a biometric system to track the number of aliens who leave the United States when their visas expire, the agency is still in the planning stages and has failed to meet its mandated requirement, according the Government Accountability Office, which has been tracking the department’s progress since 2004.

“DHS had not yet fulfilled the 2004 statutory requirement to implement a biometric exit capability or the statutory requirement to report overstay estimates, and as of January 2016, DHS has planning efforts underway but has not yet met these requirements,” the GAO concluded in a new report released this month.

The report comes amid disclosures by senior DHS officials that the agency is investigating just 0.05 percent of more than 6 million visa overstays that occurred during the past 20 years.

This is just another embarrassing development for DHS, who couldn’t say whether the 9,500 people who were stripped of their visas due to terrorist ties are in the U.S. Moreover, they were unable to give a definite answer regarding the number of Syrian refugees, or those who have overstayed their visa through the waiver program, that have entered the U.S. last year. DHS official Kelli Ann Burriesci, who is one of the key people regarding the screening process at the agency, said she didn't bring those numbers with her.