US Stops visas for some African and Asian Nations for refusing to take back deported citizens.

Confirmed by the state department on Tuesday the 12th, United Sates of America will stop issuing certain visas to Eritrean nationals and officials of Cambodia, Sierra Leone and Guinea as of Wednesday  (13th Sept 2017) because they have refused to take back deported citizens from the U.S.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert confirmed that the restrictions have been imposed in all four countries, effective Wednesday. Tillerson sent a cable to all embassies on Tuesday ordering the changes.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson can stop all or specific types of visas from being issued to these nations under the US federal law.

The State Department traditionally has been reluctant to impose visa sanctions because affected countries often retaliate through reciprocal restrictions on U.S. citizens and officials. The measures have only been imposed twice before, against Guyana and Gambia.

Eritrea

The U.S. Embassy in Eritrea said in a statement that it will stop issuing business and tourism visas to Eritrean nationals, with “limited exceptions.” Eritrean officials were not immediately available for comment.

The East African nation is a major source of migrants who say they are fleeing a system of forced military conscription that repeatedly has been criticised by the United Nations and human rights groups.

Guinea

In the West African nation of Guinea, a U.S. Embassy statement said the new restrictions on business, tourism and student visas affect only government officials and immediate family members.

Cambodia

In Cambodia, restrictions on business and tourism visas will affect foreign ministry officials with the post of director-general and above, along with their families. Reasons for this are unknown as it seems to specifically target  government officials especially  foreign ministry.

Sierra Leone

Government officials are again the primary target In Sierra Leone, restrictions on business and tourism visas will affect foreign ministry and immigration officials. The West African nation is currently recovering from recent mudslides in the capital that killed several hundred people.

Nationals of Sierra Leone and Guinea had been considered an exception to deportation during the Ebola crisis and its aftermath. Since the temporary protection status has expired in May of this year the nationals of these countries can not be returned or deported back to their country which doesn’t seems to go down well with the foreign ministry.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson can stop all or specific types of visas from being issued to these nations under the US federal law.

The State Department traditionally has been reluctant to impose visa sanctions because affected countries often retaliate through reciprocal restrictions on U.S. citizens and officials. The measures have only been imposed twice before, against Guyana and Gambia.

U.S. officials first discussed the visa restrictions last month. The Department of Homeland Security said it had recommended the State Department take action against four nations out of a dozen it considers recalcitrant.

It is not clear why only Cambodia, Eritrea and Guinea were selected for the sanctions or why Sierra Leone, which was last identified as “at risk” for recalcitrance, was included.

Other countries listed as being recalcitrant in accepting deportees from the U.S. include China, Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Iran, Burma, Morocco and South Sudan.

Opinion

One can not but wonder what is behind this move from the U.S state department and homeland security.

China as we all know will never take back their deported citizens and 9 out of 10 the about to be deported Chinese citizen will not have a passport to proof country of birth and Chinese embassy/government does not issue travel documents to them.

In most cases its near impossible to deport a Chinese National. But why has this measure not taken against China.

The department is not fair on those poor African nations while a nation like China gets away with it. probably because America are afraid of retaliation from China through reciprocal restrictions on U.S. citizens and officials. Such reciprocal wouldn’t matter to small African nations.

Iran is another notorious one but still no consequence despite their documented hatred towards the West and the U.S in particular.

Morocco as well,more often than not will not take back their deported citizens even when they have committed act of terrorism in the west. They always claim that their citizens who have been radicalised in Europe is a European responsibility, there is always a claim that their citizen was not radicalised in morocco but in Europe.

The U.S state department and homeland security just need to be apply equal measures to all. Let same measures be applied to China, Morocco and Iran.

Credits:

U.S Department of States

Associate Press.

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