Friday, October 22, 2010
And The Answer Is ...
A 2004 GAO report estimated that one-third of illegal residents in the US - some 2.3 million - had entered with valid visas or through the VWP, and then had overstayed. Efforts to refine this number were only partially successful, but all pointed to high rates of overstay: 31%, 27% and 57%, not taking into account the large number of Canadian and Mexican visitors who did not complete I-94 forms, nor the numbers of visitors who overstayed for relatively short periods of time and then went home. And these numbers don't all account for changes and adjustments of status by those who entered with B1/B2s.
While this and other such reports emphasize security and terrorism concerns to justify efforts to track overstays, we must remember our role in this: security risk, terrorist, or Greek restaurant dishwasher, many of these individuals received visas after interviews with consular officers.
Making it worthwhile, Madam believes, to remember that in a visa interview, the correct answer to a consular officer's inner "I don't know" is 214(b).
A note - if a reader knows of more current or accurate stats, please post links in the comments. Thx!!