DHS: More than 600K foreign travelers overstayed visas in 2017

DHS: More than 600K foreign travelers overstayed visas in 2017
© Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security said in a report released Tuesday that more than 600,000 foreign travelers to the U.S. overstayed their visas in 2017 and remained in the country through the end of that year.

The department's report said more than 52 million foreign travelers entered the country and were set to leave last year. Of all those travelers, about 1.33 percent overstayed their visas.

The report also stated that more than 92,000 Canadians overstayed their visas, as did more than 47,000 Mexicans. However, those figures do not include land crossings, meaning the numbers could be higher.

ADVERTISEMENT

The highest percentage of travelers who overstayed their visas were those in the student or exchange visitor visa programs. About 4.15 percent of the more than 1.6 million student or exchange visitors who were supposed to leave the U.S. in 2017 stayed past their visa.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE has made immigration enforcement a priority for his administration, including implementing a “zero tolerance” policy at the southern border.

Illegal border crossings from Mexico reached a historic low last year, but have recently increased despite the stricter immigration policies.

The number of people caught illegally crossing into the U.S. from Canada has reportedly increased by 142 percent from last year. 

Scrutiny of the administration’s immigration policies reached a fever pitch earlier this year over the separation of immigrant families at the border. Trump signed an executive order earlier this year to end the family separations.

Some pro-immigration activists and Democrats have also called for abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement as the agency’s detention policies have been under scrutiny. Republicans, including Trump, have defended the agency.