More than two dozen countries are refusing to take back illegal immigrants deported from the United States, and one congressman said politics are getting in the way of the issue.
Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat, told host Sharyl Attkisson during an interview for Sunday's "Full Measure" the practice is allowing illegal aliens to be released back into the U.S.
"There are about 30 countries that have been very difficult to work with that won't take back their criminals, but at the same time we're issuing business visas or student visas to those countries," Cuellar said. "So while we're giving them the opportunity to come to the United States, they're refusing, should I say, to take back the criminal aliens that belong to those countries.
"We found out that there's a law already that allows us to hold those visas if a country's not planning to take back their criminals."
That law, Cuellar said, is not being enforced because of international diplomacy. Some of the roughly 30 countries include Vietnam, Cuba, and China.
"There's a large number of them and we brought this issue back years ago to them 'cause I've been working on this issue and they said, 'well you know you gotta understand diplomacy, we don't wanna upset some of those countries,'" Cuellar said.
"And basically the response from the State Department is because you have to work with the State Department and Homeland Security. And the State Department, with all due respect, was focused on diplomacy."
"Full Measure" airs Sunday on Sinclair stations nationwide, and is streamed live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. ET at FullMeasure.news.
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