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December 6, 2001
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US to crack down on 314,000 foreigners with expired visas

The United States has decided to crack down on all foreign nationals -- 314,000 of them -- living in the country with expired visas and in violation of deportation orders.

Before the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service did not enforce the law unless a foreign national with an expired visa and under deportation order was sought on criminal charges.

But now the names of the foreigners who disappeared after being ordered deported will be entered in a crime database so that the police can track them down, INS Commissioner James W Ziglar said on Wednesday.

He said the INS has enlisted the help of law enforcement agencies in a crackdown on the foreign nationals living in the country illegally.

By entering their names in the National Crime Information Centre database, the missing deportees might be identified by officers in traffic stops or other identity checks, he told the House Government Reform subcommittee on criminal justice.

"We think this will send a message that when you come to the United States you are expected to stay here on the terms you are admitted on, and that coming here and staying in illegal status is not appropriate," Ziglar said.

PTI

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