RELEASE: Congressman Moran’s Visa Overstays Legislation Included in House-Passed H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act of 2023
Washington, D.C., May 11, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Nathaniel Moran (TX-01) released the following statement following the House of Representative’s vote to pass H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act of 2023, which includes the Congressman’s Visa Overstays Penalties Act:
“East Texans understand that the crisis of illegal immigration does not stop at our borders. Thousands of illegal immigrants, currently living in the United States, originally entered our nation legally, and later overstayed their visa. To combat this behavior, I introduced the Visa Overstays Penalty Act to increase civil penalties and create criminal penalties for illegal aliens who overstay their visa,” said Congressman Moran.
“The passage of H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act of 2023 – a Republican priority for the 118th Congress, is a step in the right direction toward closing the backdoor of illegal immigration, preserving our sovereignty, and securing our nation on all fronts. As a new member of Congress, I was privileged to be one of only eight original co-sponsors for the Secure the Border Act of 2023 and to have my Visa Overstays Penalty Act wholly included within the bill. Thank you to Reps. Diaz-Balart, McClintock, Green, and Chairman Jim Jordan for their leadership in getting this critical piece of legislation across the finish line – today, we are closer to a more secure nation for all Americans.”
The Visa Overstays Penalties Act will reclassify the act of overstaying a visa as “illegal entry” – which puts the offense on the same standard as aliens that illegally enter through our borders. This offense, currently classified as a misdemeanor criminal offense, will be punishable by up to six months imprisonment for first-time offenders, and carry civil penalties between $500 and $1000, with penalties doubling for each subsequent offense. Notable examples of individuals who have overstayed their visa include the 9/11 hijackers and Paul DePape, the man who assaulted then-Speaker Pelosi’s husband in their San Francisco home.
The Secure the Border Act of 2023, upholds and fulfills House Republicans commitment to restore a nation that is safe by securing our southern border and taking legislative action to enforce our nation’s laws that have been neglected by the Biden Administration. This package, among other things, includes legislation to reinstate Trump-era reforms to the broken asylum system, expedite immigrant processing, protect unaccompanied alien children, and eliminate economic incentives for illegal immigration by requiring proof of identity and work eligibility for all who work in the United States.