While the move lists primarily African countries, in 2017 the highest number of visa overstays in the “Other” category came from India.
In a new move, as part of the administration’s effort to curb immigration law violations, President Donald Trump will sign a memorandum to put severe sanctions on countries with high stays of visa overstays in the US. According to data, visa overstays accounts for about half of illegal immigrants in the United States. In 2018 alone, there were reports that more than 400,000 people illegally overstayed their visa.
In a new order, Trump has asked the Department of State and Homeland Security to use its power in taking all steps to reduce the overstaying of visa. On Monday noon, a presidential memorandum instructed the secretaries of State and Homeland Securities to outline in the next 120 days on how to limit visa overstays.
Some 28 countries have been identified as accounting for 10 percent of visitors’ visa overstays. African countries such as Nigeria, Somalia, Chad, Sudan, Togo, Liberia, Eritrea and Sierra Leone, will be among the countries primarily affected by the new memorandum.
However, India may not be behind when it comes to overstaying of visas in “Other” category. In 2017, an analysis of the Department of Homeland Security by the Center for Immigration Studies revealed that the highest number of visa overstays in the “Other” category came from India.
Employment-related visas as well as guest workers topped the defaulters list. The data also showed that the numbers are increasing and the overstaying Indian nationals increased 19% from 8,061 in 2016 to 9,568 a year later. The DHS data for the fiscal year 2017, over stay rates for non-immigrants admitted to the US put the overstay rate for Indians at 1.2% with 14,206 as the total number of overstays in the year.
The new memorandum by Trump also asks for a review of the visa waiver program.
The memorandum also offers some recommendations on the possible actions that can be taken and these include introducing a bond system wherein arrivals from high visa-overstay countries will have to put up collateral upon entry. The administration will also review student visas and visas from countries under the visa waiver program.
A statement from White House said about the effort that it is intended to “find effective ways to combat the rampant number of overstays which is undermining the rule of law and straining resources that are needed to address the crisis at our southern border.”
“We have laws that need to be followed to keep Americans safe and to protect the integrity of a system where, right now, there are millions of people who are waiting in line to come to America to seek the American Dream.”