Trump Says Tracking System Is Necessary To Prevent Visa Overstays

The Republican nominee reverted back to his hardline rhetoric on immigration during a speech in Iowa
Aug 27, 2016 at 6:13 PM ET

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Saturday reiterated his tough stance on immigration issues during a campaign speech in Des Moines, Iowa. In addition to his usual promise to build a massive border wall on the Mexican border, Trump pledged to develop a tracking system to make sure illegal immigrants who overstay their visas are deported from the United States.

After he recently signaled that he may be willing to soften his usually hardline views on immigration, some conservatives put Trump on blast for apparently flip-flopping on the issue. On Saturday, however, Trump reverted back to his signature bellicose tone. “These international gangs of thugs and drug cartels will be, I promise you, from the first day in office the first thing I’m going to do, the first piece of paper that I’m going to sign is we’re going to get rid of these people, day one, before the wall, before anything,” he said, according the Des Moines Register.

Trump also used his speaking slot to detail other immigration measures he plans on taking if elected president this November. “I am going to build a great border wall, institute nationwide e-verify, stop illegal immigrants from accessing welfare and entitlements, and develop an exit-entry tracking system to ensure those who overstay their visas are quickly removed,” Trump said, as quoted by Reuters. “If we don’t enforce visa expiration dates, then we have an open border—it’s as simple as that.”

But while his speech expounded on some of the particulars of his immigration platform, Trump has previously advocated for both a tracking system and nationwide e-verify.

On his campaign website, Trump explains that he wants to institute criminal penalties for those who overstay their visas, and that he considers the completion of a visa tracking system—”required by law but blocked by lobbyists”—necessary for this plan. He also says e-verify, which according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is “an internet-based system that compares information from your Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Social Security Administration (SSA), and Department of State (DOS) records to confirm that you are authorized to work in the United States,” must be implemented across the country. E-verify is currently only required for some employers, while most others participate voluntarily.