And 2,000 are potential terrorists or criminals. And U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is opening " a few hundred" investigations. OK, doing the math, that means that between 200 and 300 investigations are actually going to be opened. So basically 1,700 potential terrorists or criminals will not be investigated, found, arrested and deported, much less the 798,000 other illegal alien overstays.
New York Times September 13, 2011
A vast investigation by the of 1.6 million cases of foreigners suspected of remaining in the United States after their visas expired has shown that more than half of them have already left the country or obtained legal status, officials told Congress on Tuesday.
Department officials put the remaining cases of foreigners who could still be in the country through an intensive electronic screening. About 2,000 of them were determined to be here and to pose a potential national security or public safety threat, they said.
After further investigation of that group, the department opened “several hundred” new investigations of the foreigners where there was evidence of substantial risk, the officials said. The department said its priority was to detect and prosecute those high-risk immigrants.
In two separate hearings, department officials reported the results of a review of all
cases in the department’s files of foreigners suspected of overstaying their visas. The review was ordered in May by Secretary in advance of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The review yielded the first solid information about illegal immigrants in the country who first entered legally. Previously, officials relied on imprecise estimates.
John D. Cohen, a senior department official for counterterrorism, told a House Homeland Security subcommittee that after running all the cases in the backlog through databases of law enforcement, border security and intelligence agencies, officials had found that 843,000 of the possible visa violators had left the country or fixed their status.
The officials said the investigation showed that the Homeland Security Department had developed technology to track foreigners in the United States and determine if they had left when their visas expired. The new electronic search methods would greatly improve the ability to identify and punish those who overstay visas, they said.
Speaking before the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Ms. Napolitano said the department was moving on a “fast track” to create a nationwide electronic exit system to determine when foreigners leave the country.
While security checks of arriving foreigners have sharply improved since the Sept. 11 attacks, the United States still does not have any system for keeping track of when foreigners leave. Many Republicans and some Democrats in Congress have called on the Homeland Security Department to create an exit system based on biometric inspections of travelers as they leave through airports and land border crossing points. But Obama administration officials have argued such a system would be too complex and expensive to create.
“Officials are saying they are now going to be able to determine on a real-time basis who has overstayed visas,” said Edward Alden, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, noting that the administration was making a clear shift away from the goal of a more cumbersome exit system.
Nor is the claim by the Regime that it would be prohibitorily expensive to impose an inspection system on persons departing the United States. In fact it could be covered by user fees as arriving air and sea passengers, and cargo, pay fees to cross the border. At this point those arriving by land do not. However, any departure control system could easily be instituted for air and see by user fee. A electronic toll system could just as easily be imposed for vehicles entering or exiting the U.S. A $5.00 fee per non-commercial vehicle, and a per person fee for pedestrians and those using commercial vehicular transportation, such as bus, taxi, or train, of $5.00 would cover the infrastructure necessary for departure control and the cost of inspections. A mandatory use of an electronic toll system would ensure that inspections are not slowed down for vehicles and a mandatory use of credit, debit cards, or dedicated card system like the new passes for public transportation, for individuals would also ensure that pedestrian and passenger processing was not hampered. The only problem is the will to impose departure control and have the users of border crossing pay for the privilege of international travel. Not a small issue by the way in the corrupt border communities who rely on illegal alien labor and tourism. But a $5.00 fee would be of little import for someone coming to shop. It would most impact the illegal alien labor pool in Mexican border towns who fraudulently use border crossing cards
to enter for work in the U.S. Not only would this be revenue neutral, but might bring surplus funds into the general fund. It is clear that the Obama Regime just doesn't want to catch illegal aliens overstays if they leave for temporary visits back home.
But the real story is that ICE is doing nothing about the 798,000-9,000,000 million illegal overstayers in the U.S. A few hundred investigations, most of which will be quietly dropped, mean nothing.