The Corner

New York Times Sweeps Visa-Overstay Story under the Rug

Yesterday, Mark Krikorian wrote about a Department of Homeland Security report on the number of foreign visitors to the United States who overstay their visas:

This matters because an estimated 40 percent of the illegal population is made up of overstays rather than border infiltrators. (And it’s estimated that up to 60 percent of new illegal aliens are overstays.)

The Obama administration has long suppressed this information, for transparently political reasons.

The Obama administration had stonewalled the release of any figures for years until it was finally forced to by Congress during the passage of the budget omnibus bill in December — the bill would have cut $13 million in funding to the office of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson if a report was not issued by January 19.

As Krikorian writes, the report shows that “nearly half a million foreign visitors who were supposed to return home last year had failed to do so by the end of the year. And the report looked only at a subset of the problem” meaning that the real number of visa overstays — including the three-quarters of lawful entries into the U.S. via the land borders, as well as student and guest-worker visas — is probably much higher.

But that’s not the way the intrepid editors at the New York Times chose to report the issue, headlining their brief article (buried on page A18), “Few Visitors to the U.S. Violate Visas, a Report Says.”

The Times reached that conclusion because the half million or so visa overstays are only a small fraction of “nearly 43 million foreign visitors to the United States.” But that still means that a half million or so foreigners entered the United States in 2015 and overstayed their visas.

Does that sound like only a “few” to you?

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