Photo Credit: Daily Caller After more than six months and three oversight requests, the Department of Homeland Security has finally responded to four Republican senators’ inquiry into why the government seems so willing to allow entry to immigrants likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, or “public charges.”
In the DHS response to Republican Sens. Jeff Sessions, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch and Pat Roberts — penned by Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Nelson Peacock and exclusively obtained by The Daily Caller — the department explains that from 2005 through Aug. 9, 2012, a total of 9,796 applicants under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) were denied admission because they were deemed likely to become a public charge.
According to a calculation from Sessions’ office, based on data from DHS’ Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, the total number of people denied admission constitutes only .0084 percent of approved VWP applicants in that seven-year period.
The VWP allows eligible citizens from 37 participating countries to enter the United States without first obtaining a visa for stays of 90 days or less. The applicants who were turned away were denied entry, not a visa — but either way, very few have been denied entry on public charge grounds in recent years.
The concern with these VWP participants is that they might overstay their 90-day limit through the program, which is easier to navigate than the process for obtaining a normal visa. An estimated 40 percent of illegal immigrants have overstayed their visas.
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