The Washington Post recently noted that visa overstays get short shrift in border security debate.


I agree.

First, what is a visa overstay?

In short, this is a person who remains in a country after the period of the permitted visit has expired

According to the Washington Post:

  • 527,127 people who were supposed to leave the country in the 2015 fiscal year overstayed, and this figure includes only those who entered by plane or ship, not on land.
  • An estimated 40 percent of the 11.4 million people in the U.S. illegally overstayed visas.

For years, I have noted that immigrant visa overstays – those individuals who entered the U.S. legally – are a large component of the so-called “illegals” population.

Accustomed to imaginary related to Mexican and Central American border crossers, most folks are startled to hear my position.

As the Washington Post clarifies, only 60% of the “illegals” entered without authorization.

Yet, overstays have been largely ignored in public discussions over the proper contours of immigration reform.

This seems strange since overstays, not illegal entrants, were the 9/11 culprits – an event which accelerated the implementation of many of the harsh anti-immigrant rules today.

What should also be of interest to government officials and immigrant advocates is that the countries with the largest amount of overstays do not coincide with the countries with the largest amount of illegal entrants.

The causes of both have at least one issue in common: a broken immigrant visa system.


  1. For information regarding Deportation Defense Services
  2. Visa Overstays Get Short Shrift In Border Security Debate, October 12, 2016, The Washington Post
  3. The original version of this article was posted at Scoop.It


If you’re a visa overstay and need immigration assistance . . .
the Immigration Law Offices of Carlos Batara is here to help you.

CALL (800) 287-1180