The Obama administration and many Congressional Democrats are blocking legislation that would punish nations that refuse to repatriate their own citizens after they have served time for committing crimes in the United States.
Instead, these Democrats are leaving it to the U.S. State Department handle the issue diplomatically – and that has angered Texas GOP Rep. Ted Poe. He is leading the charge to withhold visas to nations that refuse to take back their own, according to Fox News
"I don't know why the State Department seems to take the side of foreign countries over our own American interest in the United States," Poe told Fox, urging the U.S. to tell those countries: “Look, you take these people back or the consequence is going to be no visas for your nation.”
The issue stems from thousands of criminal aliens China, Cuba, Vietnam, and Pakistan – long after being ordered out of the country – who are remaining free in the United States to commit new crimes because their home countries will not take them back, according to Fox.
A 2001 Supreme Court decision ruled that U.S. immigration officials can only hold someone for six months after their incarceration. When a home nation refuses to take back a national, the U.S. must release them — no matter the crime.
Poe first introduced legislation last year to deny visas — student, business or tourist — to any country that refused to repatriate their criminals. That bill went nowhere, opposed by the travel industry, the administration and Democrats in Congress, according to Fox.
He re-introduced a bill this year in the House Immigration Subcommittee. This legislation only applies to visas for diplomatic staff from countries that refuse deported nationals.
It also faces stiff opposition from many Democrats, Fox reports.
Poe says the State Department can withhold visas from offending nations, but had used it only once: in 2005 against Guyana. The country immediately took back its 100 citizens. His current bill would make the sanctions mandatory.
“These people don't go back. They stay here. They commit crimes,” Poe told Fox. “And the countries that are responsible for them don't do anything about it.
“It's time the United States do something about it and hold these countries accountable. They aren't going to have any choice if we pass this law.”
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