A visa overstay occurs when someone doesn’t renew their visa or leave the United States once it’s expired. These immigrants, who enter countries legally on a student, tourist, or work visas and then stay past their visa’s expiration date, are often overlooked in the discussion of illegal immigration. But in the past 10 years, visa overstays in the United States have outnumbered border crossings by a ratio of about 2 to 1, according to Robert Warren, who was for a decade the director of the statistics division at the agency that has since been renamed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
In the U.S., visa overstays have exceeded illegal border crossings in each of the past seven years. In 2016, about 515,000 people arrived in the United States illegally, the Center for Migration Studies said in a report. Of these, 320,000, more than three-fifths, overstayed their visas, and the rest crossed a land border illegally. But tracking people who enter the U.S. legally until they leave is difficult. The Department of Homeland Security conducted its own analysis for the fiscal year 2017, and its estimate was 702,000 overstayers.
Do you think visa overstay is a problem? If so, how would you fix it?