The Biden administration chose to withhold from the public a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report tallying the number of visa overstays in the United States. Prior administrations – including those of both Presidents Obama and Trump – released these reports without any controversy.
In her first appearance as President Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki declared that the Biden administration would “bring transparency and truth back to the government to share the truth, even when it’s hard to hear.” It appears the administration reneged on that promise when it comes to immigration enforcement. This is not surprising given the administration’s open hostility toward immigration enforcement. In this administration’s first year, President Biden’s political appointees have issued memos forbidding Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers from performing their jobs, attempted to install a deportation moratorium and end the Migrant Protection Protocols.
Visa overstays constitute a huge number of illegal aliens in this country. Many of the 9/11 hijackers were in the United States on expired visas. Despite repeated calls for the implementation of a functioning entry/exit system, there is no current comprehensive system to assure that the immigration authorities know whether aliens admitted as nonimmigrants continue residing in the United States.
Every year, DHS releases this overstay report to Congress. It usually becomes available online for the general public after its presentation to Congress. The Washington Free Beacon’s Joseph Simonson reported that Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) confirmed Congress has the latest edition of the report. So why hasn’t the Biden administration released the information to the general public? And given the Biden administration’s seeming refusal to release the report, why haven’t Republicans released it?
It could be because the Biden administration is fearful of more bad immigration press. The RealClearPolitics polling average for President Biden’s approval rating is 42.3 percent. A whopping 59.8 percent disapprove of the president’s handling of immigration. The White House knows that immigration is a significant problem for them, yet they refuse to do anything about it.
Despite the Biden administration’s insistence on being the most “transparent administration in history,” that does not appear to be the case when it comes to immigration data. The American people deserve to know what it is in this report, given the large impact that visa overstays have on the illegal alien population.