Combined efforts from the departments of State and Homeland Security under the Obama and Trump administrations have reduced the number of nations blocking transfers of illegal aliens by half, according to the Washington Examiner.
“Working with our partners at the Department of State, ICE has made significant progress over the past year to improve cooperation on removals – including reducing the number of recalcitrant countries from 23 in May 2016 to 12 in May 2017,” an ICE official told the Examiner’s Washington Secrets. “The recent agreement with the government of Iraq is one example, and we will continue our efforts to encourage greater cooperation.”
The Trump administration influenced Iraq to discontinue its policies that barred the return of criminal aliens by exempting the country from the president’s travel ban.
To aid in the crackdown on illegal immigration, the Trump administration is working to further reduce the number of noncompliant nations.
“I am confident that the number of deadbeat countries can be reduced even further – for starters, China and Hong Kong should be the focus of pressure,” said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center of Immigration Studies.
“On the at-risk list, there is no way places like Bermuda should be stiff-arming us. Others, like Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan, have a lot to lose if they don’t cooperate more fully. There are plenty of visa programs that could be turned off in a heartbeat if they do not improve very soon,” Vaughan said.
According to Dane Wilcox of the Immigration Reform Law Institute, the progress can be attributed to the Trump White House’s unprecedented will to enforce U.S. immigration laws.
“ICE, along with the State Department, has the legislative authority to punish these countries,” Wilcox said. “However, it was almost never used in past administrations. That’s now changing. President Trump appears to understand that if people think they can come here illegally and stay even after being caught, more will keep coming.
“By using the authority Congress gave him to incentivize these nations into cooperating, for instance, by threatening to cut off their visa privileges, they’ll start to understand that we take our right to sovereign independence seriously.”
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