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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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 5 of 7)
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We are currently expediting the deportation of criminal aliens through expansion
of the Institutional Hearing Program (IHP). The IHP improves efficiency in the
processing and removal of criminal aliens by systematically channeling criminal
aliens for INS processing and deportation hearings while they are still incarcerated.
When their sentences have been served, INS assumes custody for prompt removal.
Our additional resources this year are focused on the Federal prison system and the
five states that have the largest concentrations of incarcerated aliens. The 1996
budget request will expand the Criminal Alien Removal Program by completing IHP
requirements for processing incarcerated criminal aliens in California, Texas, Illi-
nois, New York and Florida and allow expansion into Arizona and New Jersey.

INS gives first priority to identifying and removing criminal aliens, including non-
immigrant overstays. During fiscal year 1994, criminal aliens who were non-
immigrant overstays accounted for about 10 percent of all INS removals.


New Immigration Agent Position

This year we are taking another step which will improve our interior enforcement
capabilities. Historically, INS has used Special Agents to perform the fiill range of
interior enforcement functions which has tended to limit tne amount of time spent
on some of the more routine but highly important interior enforcement work. We
have established a new position, Immigration Agent to perform lower graded admin-
istrative enforcement functions which will free our Special Agents to perform more
complex casework. These new immigration agents will reduce illegal employment
opportunities through conducting workplace compliance inspections and administra-
tive sanctions cases, and processing unauthorized aliens for deportation. They will
also identify and process incarcerated criminal aliens for deportation.


Interior enforcement has posed a particular challenge for INS because it is a far
more difficult population to find and remove than illegal or malafide entrants at the
borders. Limited interior enforcement resources and detention space for non-
immigrant overstays and the complexity and lack of timeliness in the hearing and
appeals processes have hampered our interior enforcement strategy. For the past 2
years we have been planning and wUl continue to take concrete steps to rectify this
situation. I have outlined many of these initiatives above, including our efforts to
focus more of our inspection resources on high-risk rather than routine cases, to re-
duce the magnet of U.S. employment — which is key to the success of reducing non-
immigrant overstays — identifying and removing criminal aliens, and effecting the
removal of other aliens — especially nonimmigrant overstays — after they have been
ordered removed. I will be pleased to answer siny questions.

Ten Top Countries Contributing Significant Numbers of Overstays

Mexico, 60,000; Italy, 18,000; Philippines, 15,000; Bahamas, 13,000; Haiti, 9,000;
Jamaica, 9,000; Poland, 9,000; Canada, 8,000; Guatemala, 7,000; and former
U.S.S.R., 7,000.

Mr. Warren. Thank you. I don't have a prepared statement, but
I would be glad to go through briefly how we make estimates of the
undocumented immigrant population.

In terms of the nonimmigrants who don't depart, those estimates
are based on a form that people fill out when they come to the
country; and when I say "nonimmigrants," not U.S. citizens or not
permanent residents, people admitted temporarily. On the airplane
coming over, they are asked to fill out this 1-94 form. This is col-
lected from them whether or not their countries are visa-waiver
countries; it is collected from everyone. They present this form,
filled out, to the INS inspector who takes the arrival part of it, and
they are piled up and sent to Kentucky where they are keyed.

When the nonimmigrants leave the country, the airlines person-
nel are responsible for checking the passport and taking out the de-
parture half of the form, and those are also keyed, and we do a
matching of the arrivals and departures. And if, for example, dur-
ing a year we had 20 million arrival forms and we only matched
19 million departure forms, that would leave 1 million left over.

And what happens is, the INS generally believes that we collect
all the arrival forms because people have to go in front of an INS
inspector, but the airlines collect the departure part of the form;
and because they are busy, and for various reasons, we think that
they collect only about 98 percent of the departure forms.

What we have done at INS is to develop a procedure for estimat-
ing how many of those forms don't get picked up when people leave
the country. I would be glad to go into that in some detail if you
want, but I won't right now.


We estimate how many forms don't get picked up by the airlines,
and therefore, the number left over is the number of people that
we think stayed in the country.

We make these estimates about a year after people should have
departed. That gives them a little time, not just people who over-
stayed a week or two or a month or two. We let about a year go
by, and then we make these estimates.

That is essentially how we estimate how many overstay in a par-
ticular year.

We do that separately for people who arrived by land, sea and
air, and separately for people who arrive with a temporary — like a
business temporary visa or people who arrive temporarily, mostly
as tourists, and we find that most of the estimated people who
overstay are B-2's, or tourists.

Within the last couple of years, we have developed — we have
compiled statistics from our data systems that allow us to estimate
how many of these people who don't depart in a particular year ei-
ther leave or adjust to a permanent status, legal status in the next
few years. And so by developing estimates of how many people
overstay in a particular year, and then being able to take out the
next few years how many of those leave or adjust to legal status,
that gives us net figures of how many people overstay. We have
been doing these estimates since about 1985.

Mr. Smith. We will come back to you with questions on that sub-
ject. Thank you.

Ms. Dillard, let me ask you a couple of questions. What are the
concerns of the State Department about the validity of the INS's
estimate as to the number of visa overstayers? I know that the
State Department has had concerns in the past, and what are

Ms. Dillard. Well, I can only speak from my personal experience
which is all we can do. As a consular officer, I have seen quite a
few I-94's in passports overseas. But there are so many people who
do come into the country, that we cannot say with any certainty
that the figures are not correct.

What we do feel is that some of the airlines are more remiss
than others in collecting the I-94's, and in fact, we have a little
project with Alitalia. We are trying to encourage Alitalia, together
with the Italian Consulate and Giovemment, to ensure that they
take up the I-94's. Our Consul Greneral in Rome had a meeting
with iUitalia officials at which one of the officials gave him his
mother's 1-94 which Alitalia had failed to pick up. We know this
is a problem with this airline.

Mr. Smith. Just clarification, do individuals pick up and then re-
turn 1-94 forms whether they come through the airports or land
borders? Is it every visitor, or just the airports?

Ms. Dillard. Every visitor.

Mr. Smith. There are some countries that have a higher visa
overstay rate than other countries, like Poland and Bangladesh
come to mind. There are others as well. What can we do to stop
the abuse by individuals who seem to be disproportionately coming
from certain countries? Are there any measures that snould be


Ms. DiLLARD. Well, we do have very high refusal rates for both
of those countries that you have named.

Mr. Smith. Should we have a stricter process? What should we
be doing to correct that?

Ms. DiLLAED. Well, how we judge these cases is, we look at the
situation in the country, as I mentioned. For example, in Ban-
gladesh, the employment situation is very bad. Our refusal rate
there is extremely high. There are nonetheless legitimate travelers
from these countries. We do use every means we can to try to catch
the fraudulent traveler.

A lot of these people travel on fraudulent documents. State and
INS work together to try to identify fraudulent trends

Mr. Smith. Do you think you should be doing a better job of that,
or the INS should be doing a better job of that?

Ms. DiLLARD. I think that we are doing a better job as we get
more resources to do this.

Mr. Smith. It is a question of resources and not to enable you
to better screen the individuals?

Ms. DiLLARD. I would say — as I pointed out, whatever the over-
stay rate is, it is a very small percentage of the whole — of the peo-
ple who come in. We think it is about 1 percent. We don't want to
have that.

Mr. Smith. You can look at it two ways. Yes, it is a small per-
cent. But on the real figure every year you are talking about hun-
dreds of thousands of people who are visa overstayers, and that has
an impact on the United States, regardless of whether it is a small
percentage of the whole or not.

Ms. DiLlARD. That is right. But we are trying to make sure that
the figure is correct on the overstays. We are trying to work with
these countries to get them to start

Mr. Smith. Let me go to Mr. Puleo. What is the most recent year
that you have figures for the number of visa overstayers, allowing
for your year of grace period?

Mr. Warren. Fiscal year 1992.

Mr. Smith. Is 1992 the last year you have?

Mr. Warren. That is the last year for which we have made esti-

Mr, Gallegly. That is 3 years.

Mr. Puleo. We haven't completed this fiscal year, so it is 2.

Mr. Smith. You give them a year grace period before you deem
them to be

Mr. Warren. We have to leave them a full year grace period be-
fore we make the estimate.

Mr. Smith. How many visa overstayers do you estimate were in

Mr. Warren. I think the number was right around

Mr. Smith. Go on.

Mr. Warren. Roughly 300,000.

Mr. Smith. Three hundred thousand.

Now what I want to do is back up. How many people overstayed
their visa that year? I mean, the whole gross figure before you all
worked on that figure and reduced it?


Mr. Warren. Well, our estimate is that about 300,000 over-
stayed. ! am not sure how many estimated — how many we esti-
mated didn't get picked up, but we could give you that number.

[The information follows:]

For fiscal year 1992, INS estimates that the gross number of visa overstayers was

Mr. Smith. How many 1-94 forms did you give out to non-
immigrant visitors?

Mr. Warren. I think we collected roughly 21, 22 million 1-94

Mr. Smith. You collected 21 to 22 million? And how many 1-94
forms were passed out?

Mr. Warren. The forms were passed out on the airplane, and ev-
eryone who comes before an inspector has an 1-94. About 21 mil-

Mr. Smith. How many 1-94 forms were given out? Not collected
but given out in 1992? I know you said you

Mr. Warren. It would be the same number. On the airplane they
are given out to people who have to present them then to the in-
spector when they arrived. So it is the same number.

Mr. Smith. There are individuals — as I understand it, you pick
up the form, and when you leave the country you return a stub or
part of the form.

Mr. Warren. At the airline counter, the airline personnel picks
up the form.

Mr. Smith. How many total forms were there and how many
stubs were collected?

Mr. Warren. I don't have that information in front of me. I know
that there were 21 or 22 million forms collected on arrival. I am
just not sure.

Mr. Smith. That is a pretty crucial figure. I will come back to

Mr. Warren. It would be a million and a half or so forms, but
we can provide a closer number.

[The information follows:]


Fiscal Year 1992

K Total 1-94 arrival forms collected 20,521,000

B. In status; period of legal admission

had not ended when estimates were made 599,000

C Number expected to depart 19,922,000

C r A • B

D. Departure forms picked up and matched

to arrival forms 18,244,000

E 1-94 arrival forms not matched to

departure forms 1 ,678,000

E = C - D
F. Estimated system error (mostly due to

incomplete collection of departure forms) 1,373,000

G Estimated gross number of overstays 305,000

G = E - F

Mr. Smith. The gentleman from Texas is recognized.

Mr. Bryant of Texas. The gentleman's question was how many
of the pieces of paper were handed out and how many were actu-
ally picked up when they arrived to the United States?

Mr '^MITH. You have a gross figure and a net figure.

Mr. i-ULEO. If I may, let me try to explain it. Twenty-two million
are the ones that required an 1-94 — to execute an 1-94. What Bob
was saying is that approximately the difference may be about a
million between those that arrive and submitted an 1-94 and who
handed in their departure form. And from that million he extrapo-
lates down to 300,000 based on known indicators.

Mr. Bryant of Texas. The 300,000 represents what?

Mr. PULEO. The amount of people who actually overstayed. Of
the population of 22 million, about 300,000 overstayed their visas.

Mr. Bryant of Texas. But of the discrepancy between arrival and
departure of a million, there were

Mr. Warren. About a million and a half.

Mr. Bryant of Texas. Only 300,000 represent visa overstayers?

Mr. Warren. That is right.

Mr. Bryant of Texas. What are the rest of them?

Mr. Warren. They actually departed, but their forms were not
picked up. And of those nonmatched arrival/departure forms, which
as I say may run about a million and a half, most of those are the
result of the airlines people not picking up the departure forms. We
have the description of that estimation procedure.

Mr. Bryant of Texas. So this is working with regard to 21 mil-
lion arrivals and departures, minus 300,000.

Mr. Warren. Yes, well, we estimate that roughly 300,000 over-
stayed in fiscal year 1992. And we know that, over subsequent
years, a certain proportion of those will leave the country, and we
will pick up a departure form later on. xOid some of them will ad-
just to a legal permit resident status.


Mr. Bryant of Texas. So this is about a 2-percent — iy2-percent
slippage with the program?

Mr. PULKO. Yes.

Mr. Bryant of Texas. Why don't you invest any effort in tracking
down some of these folks that overstay?

Mr. PuLKO. We have about 1,800 mvestigations personnel, with
our priorities being fraud, criminal aliens and sanctions. And in-
stead of doing an individual case, we work the overstays as part
of those three priorities.

As the Jordan Commission recommended this morning and has
recommended in the past and mentioned this morning, with regard
to sanctions, we are improving the type of employment authoriza-
tion document. I have an early mockup of one here. We are looking
at reducing the number of documents from 29 to 16 documents that
the employers would have to use and, hopefully, through the legis-
lative pacKage that we may present later this year, reduce that
even further oecause some of the documents are stipulated in legis-

We are also asking in our 1996 budget for 350 more investigative
personnel to assist us in the employer sanctions arena and some
removal money as part of our deportation request. Instead of at-
tacking them individually, we are attacking them as part of these
other programs.

Mr. Bryant of Texas. I notice that, as you mentioned, some
countries seem to have the worst record for overstays, more than
others. It doesn't appear that — well, maybe it does. I was going to
say it doesn't appear that it directly is related to the lack of pros-
perity in that country. Maybe it is. If it isn't, tell me so, but why
is it that that is not a fairly solvable problem?

You have mentioned, at least in your written testimony, that
people leaving Bangladesh are given a little more scrutiny than
people leaving, I suppose France, because of the propensity of peo-
ple leaving Bangladesh to come here and work.

Mr. PuLEO. We would agree that the majority of people who over-
stay are here to work and are looking for work, and that is why
we are trying to reduce the magnet and make it more difficult for
them to gain employment here in the United States. Educating the
employer on what documents they should look at and making it
easier for them to identify the fraudulent documents versus prop-
erly issued documents.

We think attacking the problem that way, through a balance of
education and compliance oy the employer and increasing our en-
forcement capability through additional investigators, that we can
reduce the magnet for which these people are overstaying.

Mr. Bryant of Texas. Wouldn't it be fair to say that the problem
really is with the interviewer in the beginning? If you have got a
country in which a higher percentage — let me say this, if a high
percentage of the overstays are economic from three or four coun-
tries repeatedly, isn't the problem in the beginning?

Ms. DiLlvutD. The two countries that the chairman mentioned,
Bangladesh and Poland, we have over a 60-percent refusal rate in
those countries. And remember that we are to gauge the person's
intention at the time of that interview, and that is what we try to


We have a lot of students who come. That is a very hard one to
gauge. We cannot presume what they will do, how they will change
their mind at the end of their studies. We can only go on what we
believe their intention is today. That is what the law says.

Mr. Bryant of Texas. We have the same thing to consider in
every country. I am curious to know why, if it is clear that these
countries continue to have the highest percentage

Ms. DiLLARD. Those are the very same countries where we have
the highest rate of refusal. We do not have a high rate of refusal
in Grermany or France.

Mr. Bryant of Texas. But the fact that you have a high rate of
refusal simply means that there are a whole lot of people that are
wanting to come over for the wrong reasons, but you still have a
high rate of folks getting by. And I am wondering if the techniques
in those countries to screen them out are not adequate.

Ms. DiLLARD. Well, I would say that, no matter how bad the local
situation is, there are legitimate travelers. And that is part of our
mandate as well, to assist the legitimate travelers to travel.

Now granted you have some countries where it is very hard to
screen out all the bad applicants. We think we do a pretty good job.
I know, as you say, it is a large number, 150,000; but it is a small
percentage overall.

Mr. Bryant of Texas. I will pass the witnesses over to the other
Members, but I would point out from 1985 to 1992, looking at Po-
land here, they have repeatedly been for 8 years running here 42
percent in 1985; 40 percent in 1986; 32 percent in 1987; all the way
over to 1992 where it is 16 percent. But it is still a lot higher than
the other countries, most of them, anyway. So that is a lot of years
in a row to keep on having them be the ones that are overstaying.

Ms. DiLLARD, We have focused a lot of efforts on Poland and
added staff there and changed the lavout of the office. We have
tried to concentrate on these areas and see what is happening. We
look at these figures. We have a lot of officers who go through those
posts and do their very best to gauge these cases.

And maybe we need more training. I don't know.

And this is one thing, I wonder if in your travels if you might
sometimes go — sometime go to a visa section and see how it oper-

Mr. Bryant of Texas. I have done it in Mexico City. I stood in
the booth and watched them deal with a lot of people. It is difficult.
I don't want to minimize the work that you have done. I am de-
lighted that we are only here complaining about this 1.5 percent
of the ones that are coming through.

But our job is oversight. And I am just curious, when you have
the same country repeatedly at the top of the list, that would indi-
cate that there is some problem there.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

'Mr. Smith. We will come back for further questions in a minute.

The gentleman from California is recognized.

Mr. Gallegly. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I can't help but continue to follow up on the line of questions that
Mr. Bryant and the chairman had asked.

Ms. Dillard, we have talked about this 1.5 percent. After we fig-
ure how the equation works let's say that we accept the fact that


it is 1.5 percent. Yet, according to the information that I have — and
correct me if this information is not accurate — but my numbers
show that Yemen, a third of all of the people that depart never re-
turn. I show that there are 14 countries that have greater than a
10-percent nonreturn rate. Bangladesh, 24, 25 percent. Are these
numbers consistent with what you believe to be accurate?

Ms. DiLLARD. I don't have those figures.

Mr. Gallegly. Maybe the question should be to Mr. Warren.

Ms. DiLLARD. For example, in Yemen, we don't even issue very
many visas out of Yemen, and we have over a 50-percent refusal

Mr. Gallegly. But a third of those you approved never come
back, according to your numbers. And Bangladesh, Syria, almost 20
percent. And 14 countries over 10 percent. Is that correct?

Ms. DiLLARD. I don't have those figures.

Mr. Gallegly. Let me ask you this, during the interview proc-
ess, do we do anything as simple as confirming that they have a
return, paid airline ticket?

Ms. DiLLARD. Yes.

Mr. Gali^gly. In all cases?

Ms. DiLLARD. What you have to do is you have to determine the
ties of the person to the country.

Mr. Gallegly. I understand that.

Ms. DiLLARD. We ask for proof of if they are going to be able to
make the trip without any problem on funds, that they are going
to return after the trip. Yes, we do check those things. Yes.

Mr. Gallegly. You do verify that they have a paid return airline

Ms. DiLLARD. Yes. You know, we don't even consider that a proof.

Mr. Gallegly. I understand

Ms. DiLLARD. Of that half that we turn down, a lot of those have
prepaid return tickets. We don't consider that necessarily proof

Mr. Gallegly. I am not sajang that it would be, but it is cer-
tainly an indication if they didn't have it that they didn't have a
lot of intention of returning.

What is being done? What is being done in the areas where there
is this excessive rate?

We have said maybe the problem isn't in Grermany or France or
many other places around the world. But if there are 14 countries
that have in excess of 10 percent, I would say that there needs to
be more focus there. And what has that focus been, if there has
been a focus?

Ms. DiLLARD. Well, in those countries that are in excess of 10
percent, it's hard to comment on — I don't know what those coun-
tries are. I do know that we could certainly use some more re-
sources in all our posts.

Mr. Gallegly. Do we have a computerized system that the con-
sulates in each of those countries have access to that they can
check and see if an applicant has ever been guilty of overstay in
the past?

Ms. DiLLARD. It doesn't show overstays, but we have deportation
data we have to check — we have to check their passports, which we
do. We look at their passports to see their entry dates and exit


dates and such as that. On overstays we know numbers, but we
don't know individuals. INS

Mr. Gallegly. Do you have a computerized way? It isn't impos-
sible to get another passport in a lot of these countries. And if they
have a passport that is stamped as an overstay and they can go
get another passport. Do you have a computerized method of check-
ing to see if someone who is applying has ever been guilty of
overstaying? Do you have access to that? Is that part of the ver-
ification process?

Ms. DiLLARD. I do not have access to the overstay data.

Mr. Gallegly. It seems to me that that would be a reasonable
question. I would like to know if they do have such a thing.

Ms. DiLLARD. What we have in our data bank is people on whom
we do have information. State and INS have the same — both our
offices have the same information on security g^rounds, health
grounds, moral grounds and such. But at this point I don't think
that we have any printout on the names that we haven't gotten the

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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 5 of 7)