While tens of thousands of deportable aliens have been released into the United States because the aliens’ home countries declined to take them back, the Obama Administration has not withheld visas from a single country for refusing to repatriate its citizens, government officials testified Thursday before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
“We have not used it,” Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele Thoren Bond responded when asked by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) how many times the State Department denied visas to recalcitrant countries.
Under current law, once notified by the Secretary of Homeland Security that a foreign country is denying or significantly delaying the acceptance of an alien, the Secretary of State is supposed to stop granting visas to the citizens and residents of the noncompliant nation until that country accepts its alien.
“So in seven and a half years, this ‘effective tool’ that you believe is so effective you’ve never used it even though this statute says you shall do it, if in fact you’re given notice that this is going on,” Jordan summarized.
Earlier in the hearing Bond referred to the denial of visas as an “effective tool” for compliance with deportations.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of deportable aliens have been released into communities across the U.S. under the Obama Administration precisely because some nations refuse to take back their nationals.
“Its tens of thousands of people,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deputy Director Daniel Ragsdale testified when Jordan pressed him for the number of criminal aliens released into the U.S. due to this phenomenon under the Obama Administration. Ragsdale further indicated that a “substantial number of them” have committed crimes in the U.S.
Jordan expressed frustration at the disconnect, asking how the State Department could simply ignore its “effective tool” as tens of thousands of aliens are released into the U.S.
Bond responded by pointing the finger of blame back at the Department of Homeland Security, saying the State Department has not received a notification to halt visas.