US to Cease Issuing Visas to Laos Citizens Following Deportation Row
The Trump administration has ordered suspension of the issuance of visas to certain citizens of Laos after the country refused to take back its persons deported from the United States.
The US Department of Homeland Security made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon, saying it had ordered the State Department to sanction visas for Laos and Myanmar because the two countries “have denied or unreasonably delayed accepting their nationals ordered removed.”
US officials claim they had made diplomatic communications at the highest level of government in Laos before resorting to the heavy penalties.
US consular officials in Vientiane were ordered to impose visa restrictions on certain applicants.
A statement at the Department of Homeland Security website reads, “as of July 9, 2018, the US Embassy in Vientiane, Laos, has discontinued the issuance of all B1, B2, and B1/B2 nonimmigrant visas for current officials at the Director General level and above from the Lao Ministry of Public Security (MPS) as well as their immediate families; and all A3 and G5 nonimmigrant visas to individuals employed by Lao government officials, with limited exceptions.”
According to US law, countries that agree to accept back citizens must issue travel documents for deportees before the US can deport them. In the case of Laos, the government allegedly refused or delayed the supply of these documents.
As of July, nine countries including Laos are being considered uncooperative. Sanctions still apply to Cambodia and Myanmar as well.
Source: DHS, Washing Examiner