San Diego (US): More than 700,000 foreigners who were supposed to leave the United States during a recent 12-month period overstayed their visas, the Homeland Security Department said on Wednesday.
More than 7,00,000 foreigners overstayed visas last year
President Donald Trump has focused border security efforts on erecting a multibillion-dollar wall with Mexico. But the latest annual figures underscore how visa overstays are a big driver of illegal immigration. An estimated 40 per cent of the roughly 11 million people in the country illegally stayed past their visas.
Last year, authorities occasionally captured fingerprints from people in vehicles at three crossings with Mexico and plan to test facial recognition technology on pedestrians at two Arizona crossings with Mexico. In 2016, Homeland Security published the number of overstays for the first time in at least two decades.
From October 2015 through September 2016, there were 739,478 overstays among visitors who arrived by plane or ship. Overstays accounted for 1.3 per cent of the 52.7 million visitors who arrived by plane or ship during the latest period, an improvement from the overstay rate of 1.5 per cent a year earlier.
Canada again occupied the top slot for overstays, followed by Mexico, Venezuela, the United Kingdom and Colombia. Nigeria, China, France, Spain and Germany rounded out the top 10. The overstay rate was much higher among students and foreign exchange visitors, with 4.2 per cent staying after their visas expired, a decline from 5.5 per cent the previous year.