DHS Estimates of Legal Temporary Residents

DHS Estimates of Legal Temporary Residents | ImmigrationReform.comThe Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released in February an estimate of the number of legal foreign temporary residents. The average number for the year ending June 30, 2012 was 1.9 million persons, most of whom were in the U.S. either to work or to study.

The report explains that the number of foreign temporary residents can only be estimated because, “Based on historical trends, departure records are eventually collected for 75–80 percent of all resident nonimmigrant visits, but fewer than 50 percent are collected in the same year as the arrival.” Thus, according to DHS, it does not have departure information on an estimated 20 to 25 percent of these foreigners entering with visas. The absence of reliable data on the departure of temporary residents reveals a loophole by which legally entering foreigners may stay illegally beyond the period of legal residence without much concern about DHS coming to look for them – given the fact that DHS does not know if they have stayed illegally. Of course, the “prioritization” policies of the Obama administration also mean that foreign resident visa overstayers are not a target for DHS’ enforcement branch.

The DHS estimate provides some interesting statistics: the largest share of the residents (840,000 – 45%) was workers and family; the second largest share was students (720,000 – 38%); and exchange visitors accounted for 230,000 (12%). Exchange visitors and students also are allowed to take jobs. Asians accounted for more than half of the total.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


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    Mexicans want our country, not our culture, not our language, and are known to hate blacks, whites & Jews…fast forward 15-20 yrs from now when they have quadrupled their numbers…who do you think will be in charge, who do you think they will “side” w/if Mexicans say they are taking over our country…think of the Russian supporters in the Ukraine…when Mexicans commit crimes and head for the border, they do so because they are not criminalized, nor put in jail, nor returned to America by their govt for their crimes, they run home to their “mother” land…they have no allegiance to this country and its laws, they only want our freebies. It is way past time to cut the PC crap, and kick muslims out and dismantle their mosques; it is way past time to dismantle Jamat ul-fuqra in GA, VA, SC and anywhere else in our country their jihad training camps are, take their land and burn everything to the ground and imprison all of them. Illegals should all be sent out of the country and stopped at the border and when they are sent back send their damn anchors with them…it is the fault of Congress that they continue to acknowledge their births as “anchors”.Our politicians have made an absolute mess of this country…Rand Paul has a petition that calls for term limits in the Senate and Congress, I agree, but it is also time for these politicians to have “qualifications” for being representatives with their eyes, ears and voice! That mayor in NYC is making a mess of it, reminds me of his royal highness in the WH…

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    Why would people go home? There is virtually no penalty if they don’t. In fact, there are only rewards. Because unless you do something really really serious our government will look the other way.

    I was reading a story a few days ago about the British government investigating Muslim run schools in Birmingham, where a known terrorist was praised at a school assembly. The irony is that the pro immigration people are the first ones to praise the wonderful diversity of immigration, when the fact is that a lot of the people they are praising have zero interest in joining the tolerant, free speech aspects of Western society.

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      Nice to see that someone else knows the problems muslims are causing in Britain. I came across britianfirst.org and read stories and was shocked. Stories of muslim rape, muslim protests, their push for sharia law, also how at current rates Britain will be 40% muslim in 30 years.
      I could not imagine America at 40% Muslim but feel we are following Britain with lax immigration laws, giving away free benefits to immigrants/ refugees.
      America will have more and more problems with muslims as their population here increases just like Norway, Sweden etc who are now rethinking their open door policy.
      Americans need to warned that our children and grandchildren will be minorities in America and a mosque will be on every corner, especially with Christianity on the decline here, a very bad future for America.