Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Border Hopping vs. Visa Hopping

Breaking the law is breaking the law - Border Hopping vs. Visa Hopping - without enforcement on any front, who cares?

Border fences and Data fences still need to be erected ... and then the law needs to be enforced.
At least if one "Visa Hops" the border, one wouldn't need to look for the water drums left on S2 in order to assure ones safe passage, a Visa Hopper could always buy Perrier or Evian.

Excerpts from The Washington Times -

Many illegals entered U.S. with visas
By Jerry Seper - THE WASHINGTON TIMES - June 20, 2006

Nearly half of the 10 million to 12 million illegal aliens now in the United States entered the country legally, but never left.

Carrying visas and U.S.-approved border crossing cards, they were inspected by immigration officers at 300 sea, air and land ports of entry and many -- according to a year-old U.S. Customs and Border Protection policy -- were told to "Have a nice day."

A little-noticed study by the Washington-based Pew Hispanic Center says 45 percent of America's illegal alien population -- 4.5 million to 6 million -- carried legally issued border crossing cards for short-term visits or business and tourist visas for longer but temporary stays.

Ultimately, they became what the government refers to as "overstayers," hiding in plain sight, working, sending their children to school and using health care services.

The influx continues to stream into America unchecked despite efforts by President Bush to send 6,000 National Guard troops to better secure border areas between the ports of entry, where Congress will spend $1.2 billion to hire and station more U.S. Border Patrol agents.

Michael Cutler, a retired U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) senior agent, said the government is spending billions to secure the border but has "failed miserably" at interior enforcement.

Homeland Security has sought to target overstays through a program called US-VISIT, a biometric verification system that scans the fingers of each foreign national entering the country and matches them against government databases to verify that the visa holder is the person to whom a visa was issued.

The program, begun in 2004, is in place at 115 airports, 15 seaports and in the secondary inspection areas of 154 land ports of entry, although Mexicans and Canadians entering the country with border crossing cards are not required to complete an arrival-departure record, known as Form I-94, unless they are requesting an extended stay.

The Pew report said that when fully implemented, US-VISIT is supposed to provide computerized records of arrivals and departures and a means of checking the identity of visitors with biometric data. In the meantime, it said, "only handwritten forms track some foreign visitors."

"In effect, the government has a pretty good idea of how many people come into the country if they fill out one of the forms, but it does not have a full count of how many leave," the report said.

Mr. Cutler, who headed major drug investigations for INS for two decades, said, "Even if the system was working flawlessly at all the U.S. ports -- logging the entry and exit of foreign nationals and generating many investigative leads -- who's going to respond if they don't hire an adequate number of agents? It's like having a sophisticated 911 system but no cars to send if people call for help."
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Hasn't the Government ever heard of OCR conversion of hand written documents? It is right there in MS Office.

Immigration as brain-surgery ... just enforce the law at the employer level and it becomes a little more self-regulating.

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