The Federal government has initiated steps against countries that have rejected citizens deported from the U.S. after they were convicted of crimes here. Four countries have borne the brunt of the U.S. action. As of now, the Trump administration has imposed visa sanctions against these countries.
U.S. diplomats asked to implement visa restrictions
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the four countries where visa sanctions will now be implemented are Eritrea, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. These countries have either refused to take back citizens who have committed crimes in the U.S or delayed beyond reason such acceptance. In these countries, the U.S. diplomats have been given instructions to implement the visa restrictions. However, there is no clarity yet on the specific type of visas that will be subject to these restrictions. They are likely to remain in place until the countries' officials resolve the issue to the satisfaction of the U.S. authorities.
A long standing issue
Ever since the 2001 Supreme Court ruling that immigrants cannot be detained indefinitely if their country will not allow them in, the problem has been escalating. Sources within the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency say that this has forced them to release criminals into the U.S. to become part of the community for lack of any other option. Often, the country that the convict belongs to tries to delay the process by failing to give travel documents in time. The government has faced criticism before, during President Obama's time, about the failure to bring in a foolproof mechanism to get convicted criminals out of the country.
Trump's move to suspend visas
Trump's campaign call of making America safe for Americans again was widely approved because of this growing issue. One of his campaign promises was to get rid of illegal immigration, although no clear progress has been made in this area so far. The President had signed an executive order at the beginning of the year asking the Homeland security officials to suspend visas of people from those countries that created problems in taking back criminals. The focus should be on making sure that no more such criminals can come into the country even as the machinery to remove those in the U.S. takes shape, say ICE officials. According to them, the visa sanctions will emphasize the message that the U.S. is taking a serious view of the issue.