On Wednesday, officials from the Department of Homeland Security announced that the Trump administration has imposed visa sanctions on four countries for refusing to take back citizens were convicted of crimes in the United States and ordered deported. In a press release, the DHS that Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Duke notified Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the governments of Cambodia, Eritrea, Guniea, and Sierra Leone “have denied or unreasonably delayed accepting their nationals ordered removed from the United States.” In response, Tillerson ordered consulates in the four countries to implement visa sanctions on selected groups of visa applications until the countries comply.
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke stated, “The United States itself routinely cooperates with foreign governments in documenting and accepting its citizens when asked, as do the majority of countries in the world. However, these countries have failed to do so, and that one way street ends with these sanctions.”
The four countries are apparently on an internal list of countries that the DHS has deemed “recalcitrant” with regards to cooperating with the U.S. on immigration enforcement. In addition to the four sanctioned countries, the list includes Burma, China, Cuba, Hong Kong, Iran, Laos, Morocco, South Sudan, and Vietnam.
It remains to be seen whether the visa sanctions will be effective in increasing cooperation from the affected countries.