The guilty pleas of a Chinese illegal alien who threatened to kill schoolchildren highlight not only the crime problem that criminal illegal aliens present, but also a major contributor of illegal immigration — visa overstays.
So rounding up and deporting illegal aliens won’t apply merely to those who jump the southern border illegally. It must include those who land here legally and never leave.
Indeed, the number of overstays suggests that a permanent resolution to illegal immigration might be impossible short of severely curtailing travel to the United States, and then tracing the activities of every one who comes in.
Illegally Possessed Gun
Federal authorities collared Xiangyu Zhang, 22, who was living in La Marque, Texas, and remained in the United States two years past the expiration of his visa, ICE reported.
But overstaying his visa is not why he was caught: “He came to law enforcement’s attention in July 2018 when he threatened to use firearms to kill school children during an internet chat session on the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Crisis Line. Zhang is not a U.S. veteran.”
After the threats, ICE reported, agents quickly secured an arrest warrant and locked up the miscreant foreigner before he could pull off the crime. Police collared Zhang at a filling station near his home. “He was sitting in a vehicle,” ICE reported, “with two loaded and ready-to-fire firearms, including an AR-15 rifle.”
The agents also found a woman’s passport, which Zhang, an Uber driver, lifted from her purse in August 2017 after she hailed the Uber driver for a ride. Hours later, Zhang was using the woman’s identity to rip her off.
But Zhang was an enterprising illegal alien, as so many are. He also “defrauded Bank of America in March 2018 for more than $11,000,” ICE reported. “In late June 2018, and a few days before making those threats on the VA chat line, Zhang stole an IRS refund check from his neighbor’s mailbox and deposited it into his bank account.”
Zhang pleaded guilty to his crimes and will be sentenced on March 19. He could land in the slammer for 10 years and faces a whopping $250,000 fine for the firearms charge. He’ll do a mandatory two years for the identity theft. He’ll serve that consecutively to any prison term.
But Zhang doesn’t just show that some illegal aliens are highly dangerous. His case highlights an important fact about illegals. Many of them did not cross the border illegally, but instead overstay their visas. In August, the Department of Homeland Security reported the frightening numbers from fiscal 2017.
“Half the problem of illegal immigration, at least, is related to overstays,” Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies told the Washington Times in August when the Department of Homeland Security released its report on overstays for fiscal 2017.
A CIS analysis divulged some numbers that suggest a serious problem with keeping track or who’s in the country and for what reason.
Crunching the numbers adduced these points:
• 700,000 overstayed in 2017, and only 15 percent had left.
• The largest number were regular short-term B-visa visitors.
• Two countries contributed 20 percent of the 302,000 B-visa overstays. They were Brazil, at 33,759, and Venezuela, at 30,424.
Student and exchange visitors stay at twice the rate of other categories, CIS reported. And about 40 percent of those overstays were from four countries, CIS reported: China, Saudi Arabia, India, and South Korea.
Beyond that, nearly 10,000 Indians and more than 7,000 Filipinos overstayed guest-worker visas.
About 64 percent of overstays were from just 15 countries. Topping the list was Canada, at 101,281, followed by Mexico, at 52,859, Brazil, at 37,452 and China at 35,571. Even visitors from England stay too long. They were sixth on the list at 28,321. The large majority of overstays are students or business travelers.
“The DHS report confirms that overstays remain a serious problem for the integrity of our immigration system and potentially for national security,” CIS concluded. Despite the departure of many overstayers, more than 420,000 in fiscal 2017 had not left by May 1, 2018, but intsead stayed to “join family members, or for criminal or other nefarious reasons.”
Nefarious reasons might include, apropos of Zhang, bank fraud, identity theft, or worse, shooting schoolchildren.
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