Five of the seven countries included in Pres. Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order are on the list of recalcitrant countries who refuse to repatriate deported aliens, and the administration could block the issuance of new visas to these countries under current law, according to the Immigration Reform Law Institute. Additionally, an earlier executive order signed by Pres. Trump called for blocking visas to recalcitrant countries.
Pres. Trump could instruct DHS Secretary, Gen. John Kelly, to issue an official notification against Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Sudan, which are currently on the list of ‘uncooperative’ countries and the State Department would immediately halt visas from those terror hot spots.
“Each of these countries either cannot or are unwilling to take back their citizens, all of whom have either violated our immigration laws or committed crimes against our own. For that reason alone, the Trump administration can and should put a complete halt to their visa privileges. In fact, the law requires it,” said Ian Smith, investigative associate at the Immigration Reform Law Institute.
The other two countries identified in Pres. Trump’s pause, Syria and Yemen, are not on the list because the U.S. doesn’t have a working embassy in those countries and cannot arrange travel documents.
According to ICE there are 23 countries that the agency deems uncooperative and 62 that are on ICE's watch list and do cooperate from time to time.
Both Pres. Bush and Pres. Obama have used the visa sanction policy but only on one country at a time and not as a way to combat terrorism. In 2001 Pres. Bush used Section 249(d) of the immigration and Nationality Act to suspend visas from Guyana. In 2016 the Obama administration used the provision against Gambia.
In 2015 the visa sanction law gained national attention when DHS’ Inspector General said that ICE did not use the visa sanction on Haiti in order to get the country to take back their criminal alien, Jean Jacques. He instead was released back into the community and five months later killed a local woman.
Read more on this story The Washington Times.
Updated: Wed, Feb 15th 2017 @ 12:31pm EST