Sierra Leone Agrees to Accept 27 Citizens Deported from US

Frederick Owens
September 14, 2017

As of July, the 12 nations still on the list were China, Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Iran, Cambodia, Burma, Morocco, Hong Kong, South Sudan, Guinea and Eritrea.

The United States today took similar actions toward Eritrea, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The four countries are "denying or unreasonably delaying" the return of their citizens from the USA, and visa restrictions will only be lifted if they begin normal acceptance of deportees, according to Tillerson's orders.

Under specific federal law, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson can halt all or specific types of visas from being issued to such nations.

The suspension will remain in place on each of these respective countries until the Secretary of Homeland Security notifies Secretary Tillerson that cooperation on removals has improved to an acceptable level.

Cambodia under a 2002 agreement with the United States has accepted the repatriation of about 500 such returnees. Since 2000, the USA has resorted to visa sanctions against non-accepting countries just twice - against Guyana in 2001 and the Gambia previous year, according to Reuters.

In each case, there are exceptions for those who apply for visas from outside their countries, as well as exceptions on humanitarian grounds or for travel "deemed in the interest of the United States".

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Without a travel document issued by an alien's home country to confirm identity and nationality, ICE can not complete the removal process, with very limited exceptions.

The Trump administration has made it a priority to pressure reluctant countries to take back their citizens.

"These sanctions will ensure that the problem these countries pose will get no worse as ICE continues its work to remove unsafe criminals from the United States".

It said the suspension was implemented under United States immigration law in response to Cambodia's refusal to accept back its nationals whom the USA wants to repatriate. More than 1,900 Cambodian nationals are also subject to final order of removal, of those 1,412 have criminal convictions.

Due to lack of travel document issuance, ICE continues to be compelled to release Cambodian nationals into USA communities, some with serious criminal convictions, including weapons and sex offenses, and drug convictions. Only Foreign Ministry employees at or above the rank of director general, and their families, who applied inside the country would be barred from getting some visas for personal travel, a third cable said.

The US Embassy in Eritrea will stop issuing business and tourism visas to Eritrean nationals, with "limited exceptions", it said in a statement.

For Sierra Leone, only Foreign Ministry and immigration officials will be denied tourist and business visas at the US Embassy in Freetown, according to a fourth cable.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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