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DHS: U.S. may punish four countries for refusing deportees

US Deportation flights on the rise

WASHINGTON, DC ––– The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says the United States government could enact extra consequences on four undisclosed countries that do not collaborate with its requirements to return their citizens, according to a department’s spokesman on Wednesday evening.

The U.S. State Department and the Department of Homeland Security have authority to sanction countries that do not cooperate with removals, but has only used that retribution power twice in the past 15 years.

According to sources, 12 countries are currently considered recalcitrant. Those countries include Guinea, Eritrea China, Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Iran, Cambodia, Myanmar, Morocco, Hong Kong, and South Sudan.

U.S. deportation flight increases by day

 

Elaine Duke, the acting DHS Secretary, sent a letter to the State Department last week classifying the newest four countries that could face the new sanctions.

DHS spokesman David Lapan declined to deliberate possible penalties or the names of the four countries that could face the extra penalties, including visas denial.

Meanwhile, CNN cited a DHS official close to consultations about the matter as saying on Wednesday the four countries under consideration were Guinea, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, and Eritrea.

Sierra Leone recently had a devastating mudslide that has killed over 500 people and left hundred more missing. The government is also currently faced with economic tension due to massive unemployment and recovery process after years of wars penetrated by former Liberian president Charles Taylor and the late Sierra Leonean rebel leader corporate Foday Sankoh.

Taylor, also accused of blood diamond wealth, is currently imprisoned in the United Kingdom for war crimes and crime against humanity but is said to be carving his return to power in Liberia by supporting the candidacy of his wife, Senator Jewel Howard Taylor who is the Vice-Presidential running mate to soccer legend Senator George Manneh Weah, presidential candidate of the Coalition for Democratic Change.

Americans are divided on the deportation issue. Some against, majority support it, fueling support amongst core Trump’s election supporters

In two incidents since 2000, the United States government ceased dispensing visas to government officials and their families to Guinea and Gambia for refusal.

Lapan said in some cases the DHS has no choice but to release some convicted criminals who served penitentiary time but could not be returned to their home country because their government refuses to cooperate.

“We have tens of thousands of individuals,” Lapan said.

According to sources, the DHS pinpoints countries that should be punished and the State Department determines what, if any, punishment could be levied.

Officials say the DHS has has final deportation orders against 35,000 Cuban citizens that have criminal histories but Cuba refuses to accept.

As DHS increases it enforcement efforts, several Africans that are out of status in the United States are living in fear. Among them include several thousands of Liberians, Guineans and Sierra Leonean who Temporary Protective Status (TPS) and Deferred Deportation Status (DDS) expired in May 2017 and has since not being renewed.

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Ben Mabande

Ben Mabande is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.
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