In an interview with Sharyl Attkisson, Texas Rep. Mike Cuellar complained that 30 countries were refusing to take back criminal illegal aliens deported from the United States.
Cuellar said there were already laws on the books that allow the U.S. government to deny visas to people from countries that refuse to accept the repatriation of their own citizens.
“We’re not enforcing it, which is amazing. So now my intent is to go back to our committee on appropriations and affect their funding until they do that,” Cuellar told Sharyl Attkisson, host of Full Measure, in an interview.
Cuellar, a Democratic member of the House Committee on Appropriations, told Attkisson that the Supreme Court has ruled that illegal immigrants arrested for criminal activity can only be held for a certain period of time before they must be released.
“That means you’re releasing criminals into our streets because those countries refuse to take back those criminal aliens,” said Cuellar. “That’s wrong. And especially I think it’s even worse that this is already on the books, and we’re still issuing business tourist visas and student visas to countries that refuse to take back their criminal aliens. That’s wrong, and we’re hoping to change that.”
Cuellar has not been afraid to break with some of his party leadership on immigration issues in the past. He was known as one of former President Barack Obama’s fiercest critics on illegal immigration. Cuellar teamed up with Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn in 2014 to help pass a bill that would speed up the deportation of unaccompanied minors. His stance disappointed his fellow Democrats, including Sen. Harry Reid.
There are many foreign countries that refuse to retake illegal immigrants convicted of crimes, according to the congressman, including Vietnam, Cuba and China. Cuellar said that diplomacy plays a factor in the government’s refusal to enforce the law, as the Department of State and other federal agencies do not want to upset foreign partners.
But, for Cuellar, diplomacy is no excuse to put American lives in danger.
“But my response is, but we can upset our constituents, we can upset our way of life that we have here by allowing those criminals to be released?” said Cuellar. “And basically the response from the State Department is because you have to work with the State Department and Homeland Security. And the State Department, with all due respect, was focused on diplomacy.”
We had the same trouble trying to return prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay camp. What nation in its right mind would accept a terrorist, even if he was a citizen?
The same holds for murders, rapists, and other criminals we are trying to return home. There is no upside to welcoming a violent criminal back home. And there is no incentive the U.S. can offer to induce their cooperation.
Denying visas to the citizens of non-cooperative countries is pretty extreme, but may become necessary if there is no other way to get rid of these criminal illegals.