Rep. Full Measure
. According to the Texas congressman, there are 30 countries that are refusing to take back citizens of their countries who have been ordered deported from the U.S. on grounds of serious criminality. Cuellar wants sanctions taken against these countries.
The Washington Times
reports under federal law, the U.S. government can refuse to issue visas to nationals of countries that refuse to take back their citizens who have been ordered deported from the United States. But according to Cuellar, the government is not enforcing the law.
The Times also reports the law had been used by the Bush and Obama administrations but never for more than one country at a time and not for this specific reason.
Cuellar named three of the countries as being Cuba, China and Vietnam.
Cuellar told Attkisson the United States is still issuing business and student visas to nationals of these countries and he wants it to stop. The congressman pointed out
the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2001 that illegal alien criminals can only be held in custody for a period of time. If they are unable to be deported from the United States they must eventually be released from custody. After they are released they pose a danger to the American public.
Cuellar gave the example of Abel Arango
. Arango, who was born in Cuba, was convicted of serious felonies such as armed robbery, burglary and grand theft. A judge ordered his deportation but Cuba refused to take him back. Eventually Arango was released from custody.
After his release from custody, Arango was again arrested and charged with five felony cocaine charges and was released again. On July 18, 2008
, he allegedly shot and killed 30-year-old Andrew Widman, a Fort Meyers police officer. Arango was then shot and killed by other officers.
Cuellar told Attkisson the law is not being enforced because
the State Department is involved and they are concerned with diplomacy. While the congressman said he understands that, he said the safety of Americans is just as important as diplomacy. He wants the law to be enforced to put pressure on these countries to take the deportees back.
Cuellar plans to ask the government to withhold visas to nationals of these countries until they are willing to accept their citizens back.
Henry Cuellar (D-TX) was interviewed by Sharyl Attkisson on her Sinclair Broadcast Group show