U.S. Immigration System Loophole: The Tourist Visa

Last year, more than 2.9 million foreign Visitors and tourists checked into the U.S., but never checked out, reported the New York Times in a recent article. Additionally, 40 percent of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States came on legal visas and overstayed.

Much attention has been drawn to this issue after the recent arrest of a 19-year-old Jordanian who has been implicated and charged in a terror plot to blow up a downtown Dallas, TX skyscraper. The suspect, Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, originally entered the U.S. legally, but overstayed his visa. He was able to find work at various restaurants throughout the southwest and California, which helped him to remain living in the U.S after his visa expired.

Millions of dollars are allocated by congress to go toward maintaining and improving the entry monitoring system; fingerprinting, photo scans, and other measures are taken, but with so many miles of border, and the millions of people that cross back and forth everyday, a beefed-up exit monitoring system could prove to be very overwhelming and costly. As of now, the current exit monitoring system only requires the person to turn in a stub of paper before they leave.

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