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house Bill H.R. 147

Should Visa Overstays Be Criminalized?

Argument in favor

Visa overstays are the main source of illegal immigration into the U.S. and it’s important to ensure that there is a deterrent and punishment for this form of illegal entry into the country.

SneakyPete's Opinion
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01/19/2019
👍🏻 H.R.147 AKA the Visa Overstay Enforcement Act of 2019 👍🏻 I’m in full agreement with and recommend the passage of the House bill H.R. 147 AKA the Visa Overstay Enforcement Act of 2019 which would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to criminalize visa overstays. It’d make the first visa overstay punishable by a fine or imprisonment for no more than 60 days, and subsequent overstays punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to two years. The Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) would have discretion to determine exceptions to these cases for individuals who overstayed their visas due to medical necessity, public safety, or national security considerations. Visa overstays are the main source of illegal immigration into the U.S. and it’s important to ensure that there is a deterrent and punishment for this form of illegal entry into the country. SneakyPete........ 👍🏻HR147👍🏻. 1*19*19..........
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Mark's Opinion
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01/20/2019
Criminalize VISA overstays? Yes. Why issue a VISA if it’s limitations have no teeth?
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Norm's Opinion
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01/19/2019
If you violate our laws you are a criminal.
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Argument opposed

The punishments imposed by this bill are unnecessarily harsh, especially given that many visa overstayers eventually leave the U.S. of their own accord without the threat of punishment.

Ken's Opinion
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01/19/2019
I do believe that when someone has overstayed their visa they have violated their agreement. I don't think that it should be a criminal offence. If I check a book out of the library and am late to bring it back I pay a fine but I don't go to jail or lose my library card. Each visa case should be reviewed as to the circumstances, then a fair decision can be made.
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burrkitty's Opinion
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01/19/2019
Total overkill. The punishment is extremely excessive for a civil paperwork violation. A normal fine that accrues over time is sufficient. Like the one if you fail to renew your car tabs on time. It’s the same class of civil paperwork. Criminalization and incarceration for this is absurd.
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BlueSphere's Opinion
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01/19/2019
Making criminals of immigrants who overstay their visas isn’t going to make the problem of illegal immigration go away. Immigration reform is needed to streamline and expedite the process for legal immigration.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJanuary 3rd, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 147?

This bill would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to criminalize visa overstays. It’d make the first visa overstay punishable by a fine or imprisonment for no more than 60 days, and subsequent overstays punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to two years. The Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) would have discretion to determine exceptions to these cases for individuals who overstayed their visas due to medical necessity, public safety, or national security considerations.

Any foreign national convicted of overstaying their visa would be subject to entry limits. For first-time offenders, they couldn’t be admitted to the U.S. for five years, beginning on the date of their conviction for overstaying their visa, and couldn’t be granted a visa for a period of 10 years beginning on the date of the conviction. For subsequent offenses, they’d be banned from entering the U.S. or being granted a visa for life.

Impact

Visa overstayers; and DHS.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 147

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to introduce mechanisms tracking immigrants who overstayed their visas:

“Illegal immigration is not just an issue at our borders, but it is an issue all across our nation. If you cross the border illegally, you have broken our laws. If you overstay your visa and remain in our country illegally, you have also broken our trust. Roughly half of illegal immigrants in the United States are visa overstays, so this bill will ensure we have the proper mechanisms in place to crack down on this deceptive behavior.”

In the 116th Congress, this bill has 10 cosponsors, all of whom are Republicans. In the previous Congress, it was sponsored by Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) with the support of six cosponsors, all of whom were Republicans, and the support of NumbersUSA.


Of NoteCustoms and Border Patrol (CBP) estimates that nearly 740,000 people overstayed their visas at some point in fiscal year 2016. At the end of that fiscal year, nearly 630,000 of those overstays remained in the country. By January 2017, 544,000 overstays from FY 2016 were suspected of remaining in the U.S. — for comparison, only 310,000 individuals were apprehended at the southern border in 2016.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / PeopleImages)

AKA

Visa Overstay Enforcement Act of 2019

Official Title

To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to penalize aliens who overstay their visas, and for other purposes.

    👍🏻 H.R.147 AKA the Visa Overstay Enforcement Act of 2019 👍🏻 I’m in full agreement with and recommend the passage of the House bill H.R. 147 AKA the Visa Overstay Enforcement Act of 2019 which would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to criminalize visa overstays. It’d make the first visa overstay punishable by a fine or imprisonment for no more than 60 days, and subsequent overstays punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to two years. The Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) would have discretion to determine exceptions to these cases for individuals who overstayed their visas due to medical necessity, public safety, or national security considerations. Visa overstays are the main source of illegal immigration into the U.S. and it’s important to ensure that there is a deterrent and punishment for this form of illegal entry into the country. SneakyPete........ 👍🏻HR147👍🏻. 1*19*19..........
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    I do believe that when someone has overstayed their visa they have violated their agreement. I don't think that it should be a criminal offence. If I check a book out of the library and am late to bring it back I pay a fine but I don't go to jail or lose my library card. Each visa case should be reviewed as to the circumstances, then a fair decision can be made.
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    Total overkill. The punishment is extremely excessive for a civil paperwork violation. A normal fine that accrues over time is sufficient. Like the one if you fail to renew your car tabs on time. It’s the same class of civil paperwork. Criminalization and incarceration for this is absurd.
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    Criminalize VISA overstays? Yes. Why issue a VISA if it’s limitations have no teeth?
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    Making criminals of immigrants who overstay their visas isn’t going to make the problem of illegal immigration go away. Immigration reform is needed to streamline and expedite the process for legal immigration.
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    If you violate our laws you are a criminal.
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    Donald Trump’s wife is here illegally at least she worked here for a year illegally before she somehow magically became a citizen. And her parents somehow magically became citizens through all the Donald Trump is trying to get rid of now. So why the double standard Donny? Or is it just if it works for you it’s OK but I can’t work for everyone else? Donald Trump is a bigot and it idiot who needs to go along with any Republican senator or congressman that supports him. Wake up America even if you voted for this nut Look at what he’s doing, look at what he’s doing to this country. He has to go.
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    No, we should allow people to fraudulently stay in our country & leech off of our resources so we aren’t racist.
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    Yes of course they should, unless your a Democrat. I’m past fed up with people abusing our weak immigration laws. Make the penalties severe. E-verify, No visa lottery, no anchor babies. Congress do your damn job!. #MAGA #BuildTheWall
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    Aré you kidding me? Visa overstays in other countries cost like $100. And, the issue isn’t the overstay, it is the result of an inefficient system. Visa processing is too long, too complicated, and there are not enough options. Let’s fix that instead of trying to help your friends with the private prisons exploit people for more $$$.
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    What about ”you violated our VISA law beyond the limit”, therefore you are banned for a future entry. Overlooking laws leads to more violating. Laws are laws, not open for interpretation. BUILD THE WALL AND HUNT DOWN VISA OVERSTAYS. Support the law as written.
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    I thought they already were. Why have them if they aren’t enforced?
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    Every visa has a renewal/expiration date. Obviously, every recipient can read because he/she completed the required paperwork for the visa. There is always a penalty when a deadline is missed regardless. License expires, penalty; vehicle registration expires, penalty; non- payment of rent/mortgage on time, penalty. So why should an expired visa be treated differently.
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    Criminalize visa overstays and Build The Wall!
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    It is a form of illegal immigration which is, and brace yourselves here, illegal. It should be treated as such, and it is good it that this leaves the room for discretion case to case. Legal immigration is a great thing and important to our nation but illegal immigration degrades and harms legal residents, and citizens.
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    Of course a Republican would introduce this bill. It has nothing to do with immigration, illegal or legal, but with racism and hate. Typical Republican response, attack and punish. Respectful confrontation and opportunity for correction is not even considered.
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    VISA is temporary; when it expires, you go home. If you don’t, you are here illegally open to deportation and laws governing failure to fulfill terms of the VISA. There should be fines to offset deportation costs.
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    Wish there was a “maybe” option. I agree with fines & punishment, just not prison. Make them pay a fine & not allow entry or issue another visa for a certain period of time. (5 years, 10 years?) Probably need a better system of monitoring those who enter using the visa waiver program too. They don’t have fill in applications or have interviews like others do, so definitely need a way to keep track of these people too.
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    These people aren’t criminals and in fact pay taxes
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    Crime and punishment it is as old as time. Keep the laws of the land and there will not be a problem. Americans first not illegal immigrants. Build the security wall.
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