The Obama administration investigated just 3,000 visa overstays out of an estimated population of some six million illegal immigrants who remained in the U.S. after their visa expired last year, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official testified before a Senate panel Wednesday.
“So for FY ’15 sir, just a snapshot that I alluded to earlier, so roughly we have about 3,000 that are still under investigation right now. 1,626 leads have been what we call exhausted, meaning that we haven’t been able to locate the individual. It comes back to us, into a continuous monitoring status,” Craig Healy, the assistant director of ICE’s National Security Investigations Division, said in response to questions from Sen. David Perdue (D-GA).
Healy was testifying at a hearing before the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest examining the decades-long absence of a congressionally mandated biometric tracking system for foreign nationals coming and leaving the U.S.
“So, 3,000 were investigated, are under investigation right now. But those 3,000 could’ve come in in any one of the years in the last 20 years, correct?” Perdue asked.
Healy indicated that the Georgian’s assumption was correct.
“Alright, so my question is, if it’s 40% of whatever that top number, we have 4, 5, 6 million people here who overstay their visa. Directionally, that’s fairly correct. And last year, we identified and investigated 3,000?” Perdue asked.
He continued, “So, you can kind of see where I’m going here. We have a monumental issue here. Even if we were to put biometric in, and have all of the 100% accurate information on exit, we’ve got this huge, built up issue. So, am I directionally correct? I’m not trying to draw to a conclusion, but I am trying to get information.”
Healy again confirmed Perdue’s comments.
Tuesday DHS released a report detailing that a least half million foreign nationals who entered the U.S. via sea and air ports overstayed their visas last in FY 2015.