United States. Congress. House. Committee on the J.

Foreign visitors who violate the terms of their visas by remaining in the United States indefinitely : hearing before the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, February 24, 1995 online

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FOREIGN VISITORS WHO VIOLAH IHE TERMS

OF THEIR VISAS BY REMAINING IN THE

UNITED STATES INDEHNITELY



Y 4, J 89/1:104/2

Foreign Visitors Uho Violate the Te...

wjfJARING

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE ON
IMMIGRATION AND CLAIMS

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION

FEBRUARY 24, 1995



Serial No. 2



■%J







Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASfflNGTON : 1995



For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402
ISBN 0-16-047127-3



FOREIGN VISITORS WHO VI0LA1I ITIE TERMS

OF THEIR VISAS BY REMAINING IN raE

UNITID STATES INDEHNimY



Y 4. J 89/1:104/2

Foreign Visitors Hho Violate the Te. . .

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE ON
IMMIGRATION AND CLAIMS

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIAEY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION
FEBRUARY 24, 1995



Serial No. 2







Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1995



For sale by the U.S. Govemmenl Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402
ISBN 0-16-047127-3



COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois, Chairman



CARLXDS J. MOORHEAD, California
F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, Jr.,

Wisconsin
BILL McCOLLUM, Florida
GEORGE W. GEKAS, Pennsylvania
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
LAMAR SMITH, Texas
STEVEN SCHIFF, New Mexico
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
CHARLES T. CANADY, Florida
BOB INGLIS, South Carolina
BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia
STEPHEN E. BUYER, Indiana
MARTIN R. HOKE, Ohio
SONNY BONO, California
FRED HEINEMAN, North Carolina
ED BRYANT, Tennessee
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
MICHAEL PATRICK FLANAGAN, Illinois
BOB BARR, Georgia



JOHN CONYERS, Jr., Michigan
PATRICIA SCHROEDER, Colorado
BARNEY FRANK, Massachusetta
CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
RICK BOUCHER, Virginia
JOHN BRYANT, Texas
JACK REED, Rhode Island
JERROLD NADLER, New York
ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia
MELVIN L. WATT, North Carolina
XAVIER BECERRA, California
JOSE E. SERRANO, New York
ZOE LOFGREN, California
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas



ALAN F. Coffey, Jr., General Counsel /Staff Director
JUUAN Epstein, Minority Staff Director



SUBCOMMnTEE ON IMMIGRATION AND CLAIMS
LAMAR SMITH, Texas, Chairman



ELTON GALLEGLY, California
CARLOS J. MOORHEAD, California
BILL McCOLLUM, Florida
SONNY BONO, California
FRED HEINEMAN, North Carolina
ED BRYANT, Tennessee



JOHN BRYANT, Texas
BARNEY FRANK, Massachusetta
CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
XAVIER BECERRA, California



CORDIA A. Strom, Counsel

Edward R. Grant, Assistant Counsel

George Fishman, Assistant Counsel

Paul Drolet, Minority Counsel



(II)



CONTENTS



HEARING DATE



Page
Februaiy 24, 1995 1

OPENING STATEMENT

Smith, Hon. Lamar, a Representative in Congress from the State of Texas,

and chairman. Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims 1

WITNESSES

DiUard, Diane, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Service, Bureau of Con-
sular Affairs, Department of State 18

Jordan, Hon. Barbara, Chair, Commission on Immigration Reform, accom-
panied by Robert Hill, Commissioner, and Susan Martin, Executive Direc-
tor 2

Puleo, James, Executive Associate Commissioner for F*rograms, Immigration
and Naturalization Service, accompanied by Robert Warren, Director, Sta-
tistics Branch 21

LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING

Biyant, Hon. Ed, a Representative in Congress from the State of Tennessee:

Opening statement 13

Dillard, Diane, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Service, Bureau of Con-
sular Affairs, Department of State: Prepared statement 19

Jordan, Hon. Barbara, Chair, Commission on Immigration Reform: Prepared

statement 6

Puleo, James, Executive Associate Commissioner for Programs, Immigration
and Naturalization Service:

Information concerning overstayers for fiscal year 1992 30

Prepared statement 23

Total number of forms (1-94), and how many stubs collected for fiscal
year 1992 30

(III)



FOREIGN VISITORS WHO VIOLATE THE
TERMS OF THEIR VISAS BY REMAINING IN
THE UNITED STATES INDEFINITELY



FRroAY, FEBRUARY 24, 1995

House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims,

Committee on the Judiciary,

Washington, DC.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:39 a.m., in room
2237, Raybum House Office Building, Hon. Lamar Smith (chair-
man of the subcommittee) presiding.

Present: Representatives Lamar Smith, Elton Gallegly, Carlos J.
Moorhead, Bill McCollum, Fred Heineman, Ed Bryant of Ten-
nessee, and John Bryant of Texas.

Also present: Cordia A. Strom, counsel; Edward R. Grant, assist-
ant counsel; Greorge Fishman, assistant counsel; Judy Knott, execu-
tive assistant; and Paul Drolet, minority counsel.

OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN SMITH

Mr. Smith. The Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims will
come to order, and I would like to welcome everyone here today to
be a part of our first of two hearings on the subject of illegal immi-
gration and border security. Next Friday we are going to focus on
the subject of illegal entry across our land borders and through our
airports. That hearing was originally scheduled for yesterday; then
it was scheduled for this coming Monday, and now it is postponed
to Friday because of a conflict with the full committee's markups.

Today we are going to focus on the different but I think equally
important subject of the entry of visitors who come into this coun-
try, but overstay and, of course, are therefore illegal aliens. Each
year the United States admits 500 million people — that is twice the
population of the United States — as foreign visitors, workers and
immigrants. About 10 percent, 55 million of those visitors come
through our airports either as tourists or business visitors.

The INS estimates that about one-half of the illegal aliens in the
United States have arrived on a visitor's visa and have overstayed.
We will plumb this more deeply, but I think those figures are fuzzy
and, at best, they are a guess; and I think we will be able to deter-
mine in a few mmutes how those figures are arrived at.

The fact that approximately half of the illegal aliens are visa
overstayers is not a new phenomenon, though we are just recently
becoming aware of the extent of the problem.

(1)



Today, some of the subjects that we will be discussing are how
do we arrive at the figure of visa overstayers, how do we deter
them, how do we track them, and how do we apprehend them. As
I say, this is half of the problem.

I would like to recognize now the ranking minority member, my
friend from Texas, John Bryant, and then we will go on to our first
panel.

Mr. Bryant of Texas. Thank you, Mr, Chairman. I will not make
extensive remarks.

I would like to thank Commissioner Jordan and Ms. Martin emd
Mr. Hill for the great work of your Commission. We look forward
to trying to implement some of your work this year.

This is not an area to work in if your main interest in life is
making friends, because all of the choices are tough ones. You have
made some tough ones, and I appreciate your work and I look for-
ward to your comments.

Mr. Smith. Because Professor Jordan is actually in the middle of
a Commission on Immigration Reform hearing and took a few min-
utes out, I might ask Members if they would have a brief opening
statement; otherwise, we will move on and hear from Professor Jor-
dan.

Any opening statements?

If not. Professor Jordan, before you begin, I would like to thank
the State Department and the INS for letting us depart from proto-
col. Normally, they would be up first, but they appreciate your situ-
ation in the meeting next door, as I do; and we appreciate all the
good work that you are doing.

You are the Chair of the Commission on Immigration Reform.
You are accompanied by Robert Hill, a member of the Commission
on Immigration Reform. And again, I consider you to be a special
friend from Texas, and we appreciate your taWng the time to be
with us today. We would be happy to hear your remarks and we
will go to questions.

STATEMENT OF HON. BARBARA JORDAN, CHAIR, COMMISSION
ON IMMIGRATION REFORM, ACCOMPANIED BY ROBERT
HILL, COMMISSIONER, AND SUSAN MARTIN, EXECUTIVE DI-
RECTOR

Ms. Jordan. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Seated to my immediate
left is Susan Martin, the Executive Director of the Commission on
Immigpration Reform.

Mr. Smith. I apologize for not introducing her. In my original
witness list, she was not listed and I should have done that as well.
Thank you.

Ms. Jordan. Mr. Chairman and members of this subcommittee,
I really do appreciate the opportunity to come here and tell you
about the work of the Commission.

In our first interim report entitled "U.S. Immigration Policy: Re-
storing Credibility," presented September 30, 1994, we undertook
to recommend a comprehensive strategy for restoring credibility to
the immigration system. We began by setting forth principles. The
Commission believes legal immigration has strengthened this coun-
try and continues to do so. We as a Commission denounce hostility
toward immigrants as antithetical to the interests of this country



and our national interest. We cannot sustain ourselves as a nation
if we condone divisiveness in our society.

But we are also a nation of laws. For our immigration policy to
make sense, it is necessary to make distinctions between those who
obev the law and those who violate the law. Therefore, we disagree
witn those who label our efforts to control illegal immigration as
somehow inherently anti-immigrant. Unlawful immigration is un-
acceptable.

Many Americans believe that the Government cannot or will not
manage immigration. Despite recent improvements in border man-
agement and other immigration enforcement, the continued entry
of illegal aliens fuel this perception. Increasing frustration over the
Nation's inability to control adequately illegal immigration under-
mines our first commitment to legal immigration.

The Commission believes that we must take immediate steps to
uphold both our immigration tradition and our commitment to the
rule of law.

This morning, I am going to briefly outline the seven-point strat-
egy for reducing imlawful immigration to this country. I will also
take this opportunity to brief you on the current work of the Com-
mission.

First, the Commission recommends better border management.
Far more can and should be done to meet the twin goals of border
management while facilitating legal immigration — legal ones. We
have to recognize both goals.

The Commission endorses prevention as a principal strategy for
deterring illegal entries. We applaud the efforts, that have been
quite innovative, of Silvestre Reyes with Operation Hold the Line
in El Paso. Operation Hold the Line demonstrated that a strategic
use of personnel and technology can combine at our land border,
as it has for many years at our airports, to reduce unauthorized
entry.

The Commission recommends a border crossing user fee to help
facilitate legal entries. Many people who are authorized to cross
the border legally simply tire of waiting in line and cross illegally.
This situation occurs because we have too few inspectors, too few
ports of entry, and too little infrastructure to handle the daily traf-
fic across the border.

We believe that a carefully crafted user fee can help provide the
resources needed to speed the process while still protecting the
country fi'om illegal entries.

Let me be clear: A border crossing fee should not go into the gen-
eral Treasury. It should not go into the general INS or Customs
fund. It should be used solely to facilitate the traffic flow through
the land ports of entry to inspect and speed on their way as quickly
as possible those who have proper authorization to enter, and to
identify and deter those who do not

Now, Mr. Chairman, as a fellow Texan, it took some convincing
by the Commission for me to endorse a border fee. After analyzing
the situation, however, I came to the conclusion that a border fee,
properly applied, would benefit border towns like El Paso and La-
redo which depend so much on cross-border trade. Such a fee would
help fulfill the objectives of NAFTA. In fact, the Commission sug-
gests negotiation with our NAFTA partners to develop a mutually



beneficial fee arrangement, perhaps a sharing of revenues to sup-
port improved inspections capacity at all three countries' ports of
entry.

A second part of our strategy is worksite enforcement. You vsdll
hear testimony today about visa overstayers. You will hear that
roughly half of the Nation's illegal alien problem results from visi-
tors who entered here legally, but who do not leave when their
time is up.

Now, let me tell you three simple words why that is: They get
jobs.

We believe that employer sanctions can work, but only with a re-
liable system for verifying authorization to work. Employers want
to obey the law, but they are caught between a rock and a hard
place. The current system is based on documents. An employer
must either accept documents knowing that they may be forged,
and thus live with the vulnerability to employer sanctions for hir-
ing someone presenting false identification, or in the alternative,
an employer may choose to ask particular workers for more docu-
mentation, and that is discrimination.

The Commission has recommended a test of what we regard as
the most promising option: electronic validation using a computer-
ized registry based on the Social Security number. We are pleased
with the prompt, bipartisan support that this highly visible rec-
ommendation has received, and we look forward to real results
from the pilot projects before our final report in 1997.

Third in our recommendations for a comprehensive strategy is
making eligibility for public benefits consistent with our immigra-
tion policy. Decisions about eligibility should support our immigra-
tion objectives. Accordingly, the Commission recommends against
eligibility for illegal aliens except in most unusual circumstances.

The Commission recognizes that even with a narrowly construed
eligibility for services, illegal immigration presents States and lo-
calities with fiscal concerns. Incarceration of criminal aliens, edu-
cation and health care all pose financial dilemmas. The Commis-
sion agrees that the Federal Government should help alleviate
these costs. The best way to do this is to reduce illegal immigra-
tion.

In addition, we believe that some financial reimbursement of
costs to States and localities is justified, contingent on accurate
data, appropriate cooperation of States and localities with enforce-
ment of immigration laws, and a plan to ensure that funding will
be reduced as levels of illegal immigration are reduced.

We recommend immediate reimbursement of criminal justice
costs, because these conditions can now be met, but we urge fur-
ther study of the costs of health care and education before impact
aid is provided.

In contrast with our recommendations on illegal aliens, the Com-
mission recommends that legal permit residents should continue to
be eligible for safety net programs available to U.S. citizens. We
recommend against any broad categorical denial of eligibility for
public benefits based on alienage for those who obey our laws.

This is not to say that the Commission would have legal permit
residents become public charges. We believe that the public charge
provision should be strengthened to permit deportation of immi-



grants who make sustained use of public assistance during their
first 5 years after entry. We also recommend that the afHldavit of
support be legally binding on sponsors. Let's put responsibility
where it should rest, with those who petition for the admission of
immigrants and who owe an obligation to the taxpayers of this
country to ensure that their charges do not become puolic charges.

Let me add one more point about benefits eligibility since it is
a topic under consideration by this Congress. I believe strongly that
it is in the national interest for immigrants to become citizens for
the right reasons, not the wrong ones. We want immigrants to be
motivated to naturalize in order to vote, to be fully participating
members of our polity, to become Americans. We don't want to mo-
tivate law-abiding aliens to naturalize just so that they can get
food stamps, health care, job training or their homes tested for
lead. Citizenship and naturalization should be more central to the
process of immigration. There are many barriers to naturalizing in
law and practice, and they should be removed. But it is a
debasement of the concept of citizenship to make it the route to
welfare.

Fourth, deportation is critical. Credibility in immiCTation policy
can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get
in; those who should be kept out are kept out; and those who
should not be here will be required to leave. The top priorities for
detention and removal, of course, are criminal aliens. But for the
system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the
end of the process. The Commission will have additional rec-
ommendations on this crucial matter later this year.

Fifth, emergency management. Migration emergencies such as
we have recently had with Haiti and Cuba do occur and we must
be prepared for them. Again, we will have detailed recommenda-
tions on migration emergencies.

Sixth, reliable data. The current debate over the economic impact
of immigration is marked by shaky statistics, flawed assumptions
and an amazing range of contradictory conclusions from what
ought to be commonly accepted methods. Rather than attempt to
choose sides in this discussion, the Commission has asked the Na-
tional Academy of Sciences to establish an expert panel that will
analyze the methods used for evaluating immigration impacts and
come to its own conclusions about the available data. We will share
those interim results with you as we receive them.

Seventh, much as we support enhanced enforcement by this
country, we must face the fact that unilateral action on the part
of the United States will never be enough to stop illegal immigra-
tion. Immigrants come here illegally from source countries where
conditions prevail that encourage or even compel them to leave. At-
tacking the causes of illegal migration is essential and will require
international cooperation.

That is our seven-point strategy for dealing with illegal immigra-
tion in a comprehensive, systematic way. The Commission made all
of these recommendations unanimously, by consensus. We are nine
Commissioners, we are Republicans and Democrats, a diverse
group. We are liberals and conservatives, strong ones and weak
ones. We might have been expected to simply throw up our hands
at the difficulty of the task Congress mandated for us. But we put



aside the rhetoric. We determined that we would look for answers
and not excuses. Our work is not done.

Now, I will leave shortly, Mr. Chairman, as you know, to return
to my colleagues around the corner who are engaged in this second
day of consultations on employment and family-based immigration.
The Commission is well along in its consideration of the national
interest in legal immigration, of the qualities that we seek in immi-

f rants, of the limits. We have a short-term and a long-term agen-
a. By June, we will issue recommendations for immediate actions
which should be taken with regard to permanent and temporary
legal immigration to the United States. At the same time, we are
engaged in a systematic examination of what our immigration pol-
icy should be in the 21st century. The results of that analysis will
be included in our final report to Congress in 1997.

Our first report represented a hard-won, bipartisan consensus on
emotionally tough, intellectually complex and politically challeng-
ing issues. The issues we will be reporting on in June are equally
difficult ones, politically and substantively. We ask that you give
us a chance to try to arrive at a consensus on these tough issues
before you act. See what we can come up with in terms of our rec-
ommendations.

And I will be glad to answer any questions that you or any other
members of the committee may have.

[The prepared statement of Ms. Jordan follows:]

Prepared Statement of Hon. Barbara Jordan, Chair, Commission on
Immigration Reform

Mr. Chairman, members of the Subcommittee, thank you for this opportunity to
report on the recommendations of the bipartisan Commission on Immigration Re-
form.

In our first Interim Report to Congress, U.S. Immi^ation Policy: Restoring Credi-
bility, presented on September 30, 1994, this Commission undertook to recommend
a comprehensive strategy for restoring credibility to our immigration system.

We began by setting forth principles. The Commission believes that legal immi-
gration has strengthened the country and that it continues to do so. We as a Com-
mission denounce hostility toward immigrants as antithetical to our traditions and
our national interest. We cannot sustain ourselves as a nation if we condone such
divisiveness in our society.

But we are also a country of laws. For our immigration policy to make sense, it
is necessary to make distinctions between those who obey the law, and those who
violate it. Therefore, we disagree with those who label our eflbrts to control illegal
immigration as somehow inherently anti-immigrant. Unlawful immigration is unac-
ceotaole.

Many Americans believe that the government cannot or will not manage immigra-
tion. Despite many recent improvements in border management and other immigra-
tion enforcement, the continued entry of illegal aliens fuels this perception. Increas-
ing frustration over the nation's inability to control adequately illegal immigration
undermines our first commitment to legal immigration.

The Commission believes that we must take immediate steps to uphold both our
immigration tradition and our commitment to the rule of law. This morning, I will
briefly outline the Commission's seven point strategy for reducing unlawful immi-
gration to this country. I will also take this opportunity to brief you on the current
work of the Commission.

First, the Commission recommends better border management. Far more can and
should be done to meet the twin goals of border management: deterring illegal cross-
ing while facilitating legal ones. We have to recognize both goals.

The Commission endorses prevention as the principal strategy to use in deterring
illegal entries. We applaud the efforts of innovative Border Patrol leaders such as
Silvestre Reyes with Operation Hold the Line in El Paso. Operation Hold the Line
demonstrated that a strategic use of personnel and technology can combine at our



land border, as it has for many years at our airports, to reduce unauthorized cross-
ings.

The Commission also recommends a border crossing user fee to help facilitate
legal entries. Many people who are authorized to cross the border legally simply tire
of waiting in line, and cross illegally. This situation occurs because we have too few
inspectors, too few ports of entry and too little infrastructure to handle the daily
tramc across the border. We believe that a carefully crafted user fee can help pro-
vide the resources needed to speed the process while stiU protecting the country
from illegal entries.

Let me make it very clear: A border crossing fee should not go into the general
treasury. It should not go into the general INS or Customs fiino. It should be used
solely to facilitate the traffic flow tnrough the land ports of entry — to inspect and
speed on their way as quickly as possible those who have proper authorization to
enter, and to identify and deter those who do not.

As a Texan, it took some convincing for me to agree to a border crossing fee. After
analyzing the situation, however, I came to the conclusion that a border crossing
fee, properly applied, would benefit border towns like El Paso and Laredo, which
depend so much on cross-border trade. Such a fee would help fulfill the objectives
of NAFTA. In fact, the Commission suggests negotiation with our NAFTA partners
to develop a mutually beneficial fee arrangement, perhaps a sharing of revenues to
support improved inspections capacity at all three countries' ports of entry.

Tne second part of our strategy is worksite enforcement. You will hear testimony


1 3 4 5 6 7

Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on the JForeign visitors who violate the terms of their visas by remaining in the United States indefinitely : hearing before the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, February 24, 1995 → online text (page 1 of 7)