Hosam Maher Husein Smadi came to the US legally on a tourism visa. But the 19-year-old Jordanian stayed after it had expired and then, allegedly, tried to blow up a Dallas skyscraper. That case has sparked calls from both parties for a better system for tracking foreign visitors, the New York Times reports, not just when they enter the country, but when and if they leave. Congressmen want a universal electronic exit monitoring system, which would identify visitors who’d overstayed their welcome.
Republican Lamar Smith says the Smadi case “points to a real need for an entry and exit system if we are serious about reducing illegal immigration,” and Chuck Schumer says he’ll steer stimulus money toward it. But Homeland Security says the system would be a costly logistical nightmare, potentially clogging trade and hurting border cities. “You can’t ask the immigration system to do everything,” says one migration researcher.