State Department blocks deportation of violent criminal immigrants

Efforts to deport criminal immigrants, including those involved in violent crimes, are being thwarted by the State Department. Immigration agents wanting to deport criminal immigrants to countries reluctant to allow the return of their own citizens, including China, Liberia, and Guinea, are forced to release them back to the streets of the United States.

Several petitions, by the deportation agency of the Department of Homeland Security, ask for the State Department to punish nations that refuse to cooperate. This would include denial of US visas to that nation’s visitors, if necessary. The State Department has not followed this through, being unwilling to anger overseas governments.

Recidivism rates for criminal immigrants released from detention are 30 percent or higher, with a growing backlog of cases. There are 35,000 convicted criminal immigrants waiting to be deported to Cuba while a further 1,900 await deportation to China, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement documents. These were obtained by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, following questions by Utah Republican chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking Maryland Democrat Elijah E. Cummings.

Chaffetz and Cummings are demanding to know why the State Department has refused to block funding or deny US visas to recalcitrant nations, as required by the law. The State Department has also failed to respond to questions posed by the Washington Times.