PolitiFact N.J.: Rep. Rob Andrews claims most illegal immigrants first arrived legally with visas

    During a Sept. 12 interview, Rep. Rob Andrews of New Jersey made the following claim: “The number-one source of undocumented people in this country is not people coming across the Mexican border . . . It is people legally coming to the United States on a tourist visa or a student visa and then disappearing into the population and never being heard from again.”

    Sounds ripe for a fact-check, doesn’t it?


    PolitiFact New Jersey found 33 percent of the 7 million illegal immigrants in January 2000 were people overstayed their temporary visas. That’s based on data from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. A 2006 estimate puts the overstay figure at half.

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    Based on those measurements and other facts, PolitiFact N.J. gave this statement a “False” rating.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal