According to the government watchdog group Judicial Watch, a damning report on the failures of the federal government to crack down on the millions of foreigners who have overstayed their visas has been pulled from the public eye:
Fifteen years after Islamic terrorists exploited the U.S. government’s inept method of tracking visa overstays, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) still uses an antiquated system that doesn’t have the capability to get the job done. This allows foreign individuals, who may “pose severe national security risks” to remain in the country, according to a federal audit that for unknown reasons was yanked from the public domain. A 45-page report was issued this month by the DHS Inspector General and Judicial Watch reviewed it thoroughly before the watchdog mysteriously pulled it from its website. Judicial Watch has repeatedly reached out to the DHS IG’s office but has received no response.
To be sure, the findings are an embarrassment to the government because visa overstays have been a major national security issue for well over a decade. Several of the 9/11 hijackers remained in the U.S. after their visa expired to plan and carry out the worst terrorist attack on American soil.
As TruthRevolt previously reported, last year 500,000 foreigners overstayed their visas to the U.S. and federal agents investigated just 0.2 percent of those cases. In essence, they did nothing and allowed potential threats to remain in the country unmolested.
Judicial Watch notes that there is currently a backlog of 1.2 million expired visa cases thanks to an antiquated system:
This month’s DHS IG report exposes the disturbing reality that the U.S. government has done nothing to prevent another terrorist attack by dangerous elements that remain in the country with an expired visa. Many fall through the cracks because Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the DHS agency responsible for the task, must piece together information from dozens of systems and databases that aren’t reliable. The problem is so out of control that ICE must depend on often sketchy data provided by third parties such as commercial carrier passenger lists that often provide false visitor departure and arrival information. “Such false departure information resulted in [Enforcement and Removal Operations] officers closing visa overstay investigations of dangerous individuals, such as suspected criminals, who were actually still in the United States and could pose a threat to national security,” according to the DHS IG report. “For example, [a deportation] officer stated that a suspect under investigation was listed as having left the country, but had given his ticket to a family member and was still residing in the United States.”
The report goes on to say, “For nearly a decade a number of federal audits have offered the alarming figures associated with visa overstays, including one released back in 2011 that estimates half of the nation’s illegal immigrants entered legally with visas.”
For a more in-depth look at the impact of the visa overstay problem, see my previous article here.