How DHS will track down 757,000 aliens

The Homeland Security Department needs to track down more than 700,000 foreign visitors who have overstayed their visas, a DHS official testified.

Collaboration with the intelligence community and other agencies will be critical to identifying security threats among those foreign visitors, Rand Beers, undersecretary of DHS’ National Protection and Programs Directorate and coordinator for counterterrorism, told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

According to Beers’ testimony, posted on DHS’ website, DHS is prioritizing its investigations of visitors who have overstayed their official welcome through the Advanced Targeting System, which the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency manages. Beers said the system reveals background information about the visitors, which DHS uses in conjunction with data from intelligence community resources to figure out which visitors the department needs to track down first.

Beers’ testimony follows up an April report by the Government Accountability Office that states that as many 1.6 million foreign visitors have overstayed their visa. Beers said DHS found 843,000 of those visitors and confirmed that they have left the United States or have received a change in their visa status.

Beers also testified that DHS is working to integrate tracking systems that help the department and intelligence community identify national security threats, which is one of the urgent needs that the terrorist attacks of 2001 exposed.

About the Author

Michael Protos is a web content editor with 1105 Government Information Group.

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Reader comments

Fri, Jul 29, 2011

Ok, you are for cracking down people who came here legally but overstayed their welcome and became illegal. You’re forgetting the people that crossed the border illegally who could be a potential threat to this country. Those types of people might be a terrorist and can do damage just like the 911 attacked. Is the president doing anything about it? I don’t think so! In fact he granted amnesty to illegal students and announce during his speech in one of the universities.

To solve this problem, we should put a high voltage fence or some sort to prevent people from climbing over the fence if any. This implementation is not 100% but it should deter crossers. At the same time you can crack down the people who overstayed their welcome on this country. If you want to crack down illegals another way of doing it is not to hire them. That way they have no mean of survival and that will lead them to going back where they came from.

Thu, Jul 28, 2011

I understand that the actual number of people here illegally is at the minimum about 10 million and maximum about 20 million. Looks like they are only targeting 5 to 10% - though, as one reader pointed out, what will actually be done about any of them.

Wed, Jul 27, 2011 fritz

Pell Grants allow these aliens to attend any college of their choice using tax payers hard earned dollars. How many of these illegal aliens pay taxes is a good question for the IRS. The USA is bankrupting the nation by providing benefits to illegal aliens and giving them SSI benefits right off the bat. I think it's time we taxpayers to ask why is this happening ?

Wed, Jul 27, 2011

IRS has identity and address information on a few million illegals. Why not have Congress allow the IRS information to be used also? It's my money being wasted and I say go for it!

Wed, Jul 27, 2011 Fritz

DHS should hire Walmart as Walmart's accounting office can show how much one cash register till brought in to the penny at any Walmart store in the world. This level of record accuracy show why Walmart is so sucessful and Walmart could find these aliens in say a day.

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