Congressman Steve King, Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, announces that he has introduced legislation to target the problem of visa overstays by nonimmigrant aliens, such as students, temporary workers, and tourists. King’s legislation, HR 5750 – “The E-bonding for Immigration Integrity Act of 2018,” requires the posting of a bond of as much as $10,000 prior to the entry into the United States of an alien seeking a visa. Should the alien overstay his or her visa, the bonded funds would be automatically and electronically forfeited to the United States Treasury and could be used by the Department of Homeland Security for immigration enforcement programs, including expenditures such as the construction of a border wall or the hiring of additional border patrol agents.
“My bonding legislation sends a clear message to any foreign national thinking about overstaying their visa: aliens who overstay are aliens who are going to pay,” said King. “In 2016, at least 629,000 aliens overstayed their visas according to the Department of Homeland Security. If my legislation had been in effect then, over $6.2 billion would have been forfeited by those who violated the terms of their temporary entry into our country. I know the construction industry, and $6.2 billion would pay for a lot of the wall we need on our border with Mexico.”
Included in King’s bill are provisions that:
- Require visa-seeking nonimmigrant aliens from countries with a visa overstay rate of more than 1.5% to post a bond prior to being issued a visa to enter the United States.
- Place forfeited visa funds into an E-bond Enforcement Fund that would be used to ensure compliance and administer enforcement programs.
- Require the DHS Secretary to issue a report to Congress on nonimmigrant alien visa overstay rates.
Visa overstays present a significant national security threat to the United States. The New York Times has reported that two of the September 11 hijackers were individuals who had overstayed their entry visas. Requiring the pre-entry posting of a significant, forfeitable bond is viewed as an effective deterrent working to ensure that foreign nationals honor the terms of their conditional entry into the United States.