Overstayed Visas Main Source of US Illegal Immigration

Travelers who overstay their trips to the U.S. have become the nation’s main source of illegal immigration, according to the Associated Press. Statistics from the Department of Homeland Security show that as many as 527,127 people, who arrived in the country by ship or plane rather than land, and were scheduled to leave the US in 2015, did not do so.

Demographers from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), in New York, estimate that two-thirds of those who came from overseas to the US in 2013, came with valid US visas for travel, but have now become illegal immigrants. All undocumented immigrants are equally affected by the directives from the Trump administration to expand immigration enforcement, but their primary focus is on those who cross over by land. This is the smallest share of new undocumented immigrants.

The Trump administration is preparing to construct a wall on the border between the US and Mexico, estimated to cost as much as $20 billion, with further costs generated by hiring an extra 5000 Border Patrol agents. According to the CIS report, the number of illegal border crossers declined from 400,000 to 140,000, between 2000 and 2013.

Robert Warren, the report’s author, claims that the immigration orders issued by President Donald Trump, and his plans for the border, fail to accurately reflect current immigration patterns, although it is difficult to keep track of such overstays.