The 2,000 Mile Wall in Search of a Purpose: Since 2007 Visa Overstays have Outnumbered Undocumented Border Crossers by a Half Million

Report Author: 
Robert Warren & Donald Kerwin
Original Date of Publication: 
2017 Apr

The 2,000 Mile Wall in Search of a Purpose: Since 2007 Visa Overstays have Outnumbered Undocumented Border Crossers by a Half Million

Not only are "visa overstays," i.e. people who entered on valid visas but remained beyond their period of authorized stay, a growing portion of the undocumented population (42 percent of the total undocumented population in 2014), they now constitute the majority of all new undocumented people, e.g. visa overstays represented 66 percent of those who joined the undocumented population in 2014.  These are among the findings in this report analyzing the distribution of visa overstays and entries without inspection (EWIs) in the undocumented population (EWIs are people who crossed the southern border without proper immigration documents). The authors suggest that their "findings offer an additional reason to question the necessity and value of constructing a wall: the large and growing percentage of newly undocumented persons will bypass the wall entirely and simply overstay their visas." The authors include charts showing the percentage of overstays in all 50 states. The variations are quite large, e.g. from a low of 22 percent in New Mexico to a high of 96 percent in Hawaii.  Other states with high percentages of overstays include Massachusetts (77 percent), New York (64 percent), and New Jersey (63 percent).

 

 

View the report here.

Get more information from the Center for Migration Studies of New York

Citation: 

Robert Warren & Donald Kerwin. The 2,000 Mile Wall in Search of a Purpose: Since 2007 Visa Overstays have Outnumbered Undocumented Border Crossers by a Half Million. New York: Journal of Migration and Human Security. Available here: http://jmhs.cmsny.org/index.php/jmhs/article/view/77 

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