A top American senator has asked the Obama administration to discontinue issuing immigrant and non-immigrant visas to citizens from 23 countries, including India and China, while alleging them of being non-cooperative in taking back illegal immigrants from the US.
"Dangerous criminals, including murderers, are being released every day because their home countries will not cooperate in taking them back," Republican Senator Senate Chuck Grassley said in a letter to the Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
In fiscal year 2015 alone, 2,166 individuals were released in the US because of this decision and the non-cooperation from recalcitrant countries; more than 6,100 were released in the preceding two years, said Grassley, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman.
Currently, 23 countries are labelled by the US as uncooperative, with the top five most recalcitrant countries being Cuba, China, Somalia, India, and Ghana, Grassley said.
In addition, US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is monitoring another 62 nations where cooperation is strained, but which are not yet deemed recalcitrant.
In the letter to Johnson, Grassley reminded him that, Congress addressed this problem when it enacted section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
"Under section 243(d), the Secretary of State is required to discontinue granting immigrant or non-immigrant visas to a country upon receiving notice from you that the country has denied or is unreasonably delaying accepting a citizen, subject, national or resident of that country," he said.
"This tool has been used only once, in the case of Guyana in 2001, where it had an immediate effect, resulting in obtaining cooperation from Guyana within two months," Grassley said.
-with inputs from agencies