Next Monday, President Donald Trump will release a legislative framework for the immigration debate currently underway in Congress. Speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made the announcement. She said that the framework will adhere to the “four pillars” of an agreement that Trump set out in a meeting with members of Congress earlier this month. Sanders said that the framework represents “a compromise that members of both parties can support.”

According to Sanders, the pillars are: border security and “eliminating legal loopholes,” the termination of family-based chain migration, elimination of the Visa Diversity Lottery, and the resolution of the temporary DACA amnesty for illegal immigrant minors sometimes known as “Dreamers.”

“After decades of inaction by Congress, it’s time we worked together to solve this issue, once and for all,” Sanders said. “The American people deserve no less.” When a reporter asked her to give details about the proposed immigration framework, Sanders responded, “If I told you now, it would take away the fun for Monday. We will be rolling out some of the specifics of what we would like to see in that legislation on Monday.”

Visa overstays contribute the most illegal aliens

Despite the focus on the pillars described above, there was no mention of reforming the issuance of tourist visas to foreigners, many of whom come from poor countries. Once they are within the United States, many remain. According to a 2017 report by the Center for Migration Studies, from 2007 to 2014, more people remained in the United States after their business or tourist visas expiration than those who crossed into the country from Mexico. Also, the federal goverment estimated in 2016 that 416,500 people whose business or tourist visas had expired in 2015 were still in the country in 2016. The number does not include foreigners who entered on student visas, H-1B work permits, or temporary worker permits. Besides El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, China contributed the largest number of unauthorized immigrants: approximately 268,000. China is one of 23 countries that do not cooperate with deportations. 

The Center for Migration Studies stated in its report that "the large majority of persons now become undocumented" did not cross illegally. According to the report, two-thirds of those who became part of the illegal immigrant population did so by entering with a valid visa and then overstaying their period of admission. The center reported that overstays have exceeded those entering illegally every year since 2007, and there have been half a million more overstays than illegal entries since 2007. According to the report, in 2014, 42 percent of all undocumented persons in the U.S. were “overstays.”

majority of Americans believe that there should be a reduction in the overall number of immigrants admitted. According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, there are currently 12.5 million illegal aliens living in the United States.



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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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