No, they're not necessarily illegal immigrants | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

No, they're not necessarily illegal immigrants

Posted By on Tue, May 2, 2006 at 9:12 AM

USA Today notes that many alien workers enter the country legally, though they attain illegal status when working papers expire.

Here's a fact you don't hear much about: Between a third and a half of the nation's illegal immigrants — at least 3.8 million people — entered the USA legally. That's right. They didn't slip across the border in the dead of night. They came from all over the world, stayed longer than their visas or entry documents allowed, and melted into society. There's little to stop them, despite millions spent on a post-9/11 program supposedly aimed at those who "overstay."

Hang on for a local angle, kindly pointed out to us by someone working for another gubernatorial candidate.

Record-keeping on who stays and goes has been so haphazard for decades that the government can't even say how many "overstays" there are, let alone figure out how to find and deport them. To do those jobs, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would need three things: an effective system to track all foreign entrants, another to track those who leave, and enough agents and judicial manpower to go after those who remain illegally.

It has none of those.

But DHS isn't solely to blame. Until 9/11, Congress was as schizophrenic about tracking foreigners who overstayed their visas as it is about nearly every other aspect of immigration.

More than two years after the terror attacks, the government started an automated entry-exit system called US-VISIT. Then-DHS undersecretary Asa Hutchinson promised that "we will be able to know who is overstaying their visa." But US-VISIT can't deliver because of how DHS has chosen to run it:

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (12)

Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • ASU announces $29 million athletic project backed by private booster foundation

    The Arkansas State University Board of Trustees today approved a ground lease with the Red Wolves Foundation which will take the responsibility for building $29. million worth of improvements to the football stadium.
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • Monday's open line

    Here's the Monday open line and today's news roundup
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • Protest set on tax legislation

    A coalition of groups will demonstrate at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday in front of the state Human Services headquarters at Seventh and Main to show displeasure with the Senate tax legislation.
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016
  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • Kenneth Starr: A comment from Betsey Wright

    Betsey Wright, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff when he was Arkansas governor, responds bitterly to a New York Times article today quoting Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's warm words about Clinton. She can't forget the lives Starr ruined in Arkansas.
    • May 24, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation