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House Lawmakers Examine Visa Overstays

John Cohen, DHS official, testifies

John Cohen, DHS official, testifies

Washington, DC
Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border Security, chaired by Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.),  held a hearing on government efforts to catch immigrants who stay in the U.S. longer than their visas permit.

A case highlighted during the hearing is that of Amine el-Khalifi, who was arrested last month on terrorism charges.  He had been living in the U.S. illegally for 13 years after his tourist visa expired.

Tuesday's hearing, entitled "From the 9/11 Hijackers to Amine el-Khalifi: Terrorists and the Visa Overstay Problem," gave subcommittee members, as well as the testifying officials from Homeland Security and the State Department, the opportunity to examine how gaps and vulnerabilities in the visa and immigration system have been addressed since 9/11.  The panel also reviewed what deficiencies in tracking people who overstay their visas remain.

Those who testified included: John Cohen, deputy counterterrorism coordinator, Department of Homeland Security; Peter Edge, deputy associate director, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS; and David Donahue, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

Updated: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 12:30pm (ET)

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