And Immigration Enforcement Improvements directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to ensure undocumented immigrants who commit crimes in the U.S. are returned to their home country.
Existing law gives the president the authority to order U.S. embassies to stop issuing U.S. visas for travel or immigration within any country that refuses to cooperate with the deportations of their citizens from the U.S.
Trump’s other executive action on Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States stresses enforcement of section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) against “recalcitrant countries” that do not take back their citizens who entered the U.S illegally and committed crimes.
“The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State shall cooperate to effectively implement the sanctions provided by section 243(d) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1253(d)), as appropriate. The Secretary of State shall, to the maximum extent permitted by law, ensure that diplomatic efforts and negotiations with foreign states include as a condition precedent the acceptance by those foreign states of their nationals who are subject to removal from the United States,” reads the executive order.
“People are surprised to hear we do not need new laws. We will work within the existing system and framework. We are going to restore the rule of law in the United States,” Trump said during a speech before Department of Homeland Security employees, when the executive actions were announced.
In 2013, the Obama administration released more than 36,007 undocumented immigrants who had committed crimes within the U.S. In 2014, 30,558 undocumented immigrants with criminal records were released back into U.S. communities and not deported. In 2015, 19,723 unlawful immigrants with criminal convictions were approved for release.
DHS officials in the Obama administration have attributed the releases to limited space in immigration detention facilities as well as a nation’s refusal to accept their citizens guilty of crimes in the U.S.
Section 243(d) of the INA, titled, “Discontinuing Granting Visas to Nationals of Country Denying or Delaying Accepting Alien, requires the State Department to suspend the issuance of immigrant or nonimmigrant visas to countries that refuse to accept their citizens who have committed crimes while residing in the U.S. illegally.
“On being notified by the Attorney General that the government of a foreign country denies or unreasonably delays accepting an alien who is a citizen, subject, national, or resident of that country after the Attorney General asks whether the government will accept the alien under this section, the Secretary of State shall order consular officers in that foreign country to discontinue granting immigrant visas or nonimmigrant visas, or both, to citizens, subjects, nationals, and residents of that country until the Attorney General notifies the Secretary that the country has accepted the alien,” the exact language of the law reads.
According to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, 23 countries have been “labeled as uncooperative, with the top five most recalcitrant countries being Cuba, China, Somalia, India, and Ghana” as of June 2016.
Last year, Grassley argued that the Obama Administration has failed to use its authority to hold these countries accountable for refusing to take back their own citizens who have been ordered for removal from the U.S, which has “allowed thousands of criminals to be released into U.S. communities.”
“Dangerous criminals, including murderers, are being released every day because their home countries will not cooperate in taking them back,” Grassley wrote in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson in June of 2016.
In the same letter, Grassley also wrote that U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement was “monitoring another 62 nations where cooperation is strained, but which are not yet deemed recalcitrant.”