Due to a very questionable U.S. policy, thousands of criminal aliens from countries like Pakistan, Cuba, Mexico, China and Vietnam remain free to commit additional crimes because their home nations won't take them back, Fox News reports.
Based on a 2001 Supreme Court decision, U.S. immigration officials are only allowed to hold someone for six months after their incarceration. If the immigrant's home country refuses to take back their national, the U.S. is required to let them walk -- no matter what crime they have committed.
While some lawmakers are attempting to correct the problem by punishing nations that won't take back their own criminals, the Obama administration and several Democrats in Congress are blocking punitive legislation, advocating that the State Department handle the issue through diplomatic measures.
Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) wants to change the law to include the withholding of visas to countries that refuse to take back their nationals.
"I don't know why the State Department seems to take the side of foreign countries over our own American interest in the United States," Poe said, urging the U.S. to tell those countries: "Look, you take these people back or the consequence is going to be no visas for your nation."
More than 50,000 criminal illegal aliens ordered deported remain in the U.S.
Poe says there were three particularly gruesome crimes committed by illegal aliens that brought the issue to his attention:
- In June, a judge sentenced 22-year-old Shafiqul Islam from Bangladesh for the murder of 73-year-old Lois Decker. Before murdering Decker, Islam served a year in prison for sexually assaulting a child. After his release from prison, a judge ordered Islam be deported, however, Bangladesh would not take him back. So he remained in the United States and went on to kill a U.S. citizen.
- Binh Thai Luc, 35, was a career criminal who spent eight years in a California prison when a judge ruled he be deported. Vietnam refused to take him back, so he was released onto the streets of San Francisco. He would go on to allegedly bludgeon to death a family of five in March of 2012.
- In Boston, a Cambodian thug stabbed and beat 16-year-old Ashton Cline-McMurray to death with a golf club. The boy suffered from cerebral palsy and was attacked while on his way home from a football game. After striking a plea deal in 2003, Loeun Heng was supposed to be deported last year following his release from prison. Instead, his country refused to take him back and he was cut loose in the U.S. He remains free.
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But these cases caught Poe's attention. His first bill introduced last year refused any visas -- student, business or tourist -- to any country that refused to repatriate their criminals. That bill went nowhere, opposed by the travel industry, the administration and Democrats in Congress
Back again in the House Immigration Subcommittee, Poe is trying again. This year, his bill only applies to visas for diplomatic staff from countries that refuse deported nationals. But many Democrats believe even that is too aggressive.
"What Poe's bill will do is throw a monkey wrench into diplomatic relations. It is a nonstarter for that reason," says immigration attorney Dave Leopold. "It makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the secretary of State and the secretary of Homeland Security to make intelligent decisions about when to stop issuing visas to countries that refuse to take their criminal alien deportees."
Poe argues that the State Department already retains the power to withhold visas from offending nations but has only used it once in 2005 against the small country of Guyana, who then agreed to take back its 100 citizens. His current bill in committee would make the sanctions mandatory.
"These people don't go back. They stay here. They commit crimes. And the countries that are responsible for them don't do anything about it. It's time the United States do something about it and hold these countries accountable," Poe added. "They aren't going to have any choice if we pass this law."