(ESPAÑOL) A DHS report for fiscal year 2017 shows more than 606,000 visitors to the US overstayed their tourist, work, business and student visas, among other categories of non-immigrant admissions.
However, despite the Trump administration’s measures to strengthen immigration enforcement, this was the second year in a row in which more than 600,000 visitors overstayed beyond their period of admission, automatically becoming undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation.
“Identifying aliens who overstay their authorized periods of stay is important for national security, public safety, immigration enforcement, and processing applications for immigration benefits,” the DHS report noted.
The document emphasized that DHS will continue to develop biographical and biometric data on travelers to improve the tracking and deportation of violators who remain the U.S despite being expected to leave.
The data shows that people who overstay their visas account for an important part of undocumented immigration. An estimated 40 percent of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States arrived legally but stayed after their visas expired, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Venezuelan nationals accounted for the highest overstay rate among Hispanics non-immigrants admitted to the U.S. for business or tourism, according to the DHS statistics. Venezuelans are fleeing a deepening political and economic crisis in their country and South Florida is one of the biggest communities of expats.
More broadly, the largest groups of people who entered the U.S. legally and then overstay their visit were Canadians, with more than 92,000 remaining in the U.S. longer than they were permitted, followed by Mexicans, with more than 47,000. It is estimated that the numbers are higher because the DHS’ report does not include arrivals by land border crossings.
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in the report’s introduction that her agency is working with the U.S. State Department “to share information on departures and overstays, especially as it pertains to the visa application and adjudication process.”