Mandatory Tracking of Expired Visas
About the Problem
America's immigration system is broken, but legal immigration is essential for the current and future prosperity of the United States.
Forty percent of undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S. have overstayed their legally-issued visas.
About the Policy
Establish a mandatory tracking policy that uses technology to monitor expired visas.
Polling data derived from three national surveys conducted by Cohen Research Group in February and March 2016. Each survey had a sample size of at least 1,000 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1%
Discussion about immigration often feature understandable calls to secure our border. But an a too porous borders is only part of America’s immigration problem. According to the Pew Research Center Study, 40-50% of unauthorized immigrants living in the United States originally entered the country legally, with a valid, short-term, visa. So aside from securing our border, America also needs to ensure everyone already here has the proper authorization to be and stay here.
Here’s one straightforward fix. Currently, individuals visiting on a visa that leave the country submit a paper form (an I-94) that is matched to their entry form. Although it’s 2016, the U.S. government is still relying on 20th century techniques to secure ensure foreign visitors adhere to the terms of their visa.
With the series of advancements in technology made over the last two decades at our fingertips, it makes far more sense for the government to convert to a digital tracking system. Under such a system, non-citizens entering the U.S. would have to submit biometric information (fingerprints and a photograph) to U.S. consular officials.
Implementing a biometric tracking system for entering and exiting the country is a common-sense solution that assures fair immigration practices while also saving taxpayer dollars. It would also encourage immigrants who may be tempted to overstay their visa to leave at their mandated date, since the DHS could easily run their biometric information and flag their status (which would then appear anytime they tried to travel). Finally, converting to an all-digital platform promotes file-sharing between government departments that could enhance their ability to track potential national security threats.
Tell us what you think
Do you support this idea? Or do you think there's a better solution? We want to hear from you.