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US Limits Visas for African, Asian Nations

US Limits Visas for African, Asian NationsUS Limits Visas for African, Asian Nations

The US State Department said it would stop issuing certain kinds of visas to citizens of Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea and Sierra Leone, because of their refusal to take back deported citizens.

The new policy was laid out in State Department cables by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday. State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert confirmed the restrictions have been imposed in all four countries effective Wednesday, NBC news reported.

The restrictions were first discussed by US officials last month, after the Department of Homeland Security recommended the US State Department take action against the four states for their refusal to cooperate with the US administration’s immigration policy.

In its announcement about the visa sanctions, DHS said the four countries had not been reliable in issuing travel documents for their citizens. For this reason, “the Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been forced to release into the United States approximately 2,137 Guinean and 831 Sierra Leone nationals, many with criminal convictions”.

DHS said there are approximately 700 Eritrean nationals residing in the US with final orders of removal. More than 1,900 Cambodian nationals are also subject to final order of removal, of those 1,412 have criminal convictions.

There are a dozen other countries, among them China, Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Burma, Morocco and South Sudan, listed as being recalcitrant over accepting deportees. Federal law allows the US State Department to stop all or specific types of visas from being issued to such nations. The most recent instance was in October 2016, when the previous US administration stopped issuing visas to Gambian government officials and their families, because the government was not taking back US deportees from Gambia.

 

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