While judges have blocked many of President Trump's efforts at common sense immigration reform at home, internationally his tough attitude on immigration is getting results. Particularly when it comes to the major problem of countries refusing to take back its deportable aliens.
Between cajoling, threats and actual punishments, Homeland Security has managed to drastically cut the number of countries that habitually refuse to take back immigrants whom the U.S. is trying to deport, officials said Tuesday, notching an early immigration success for President Trump.
The number of recalcitrant countries has dropped from 20 to 12 over the months since the presidential election, and some longtime offenders — including Iraq and Somalia — have earned their way off the naughty list. The list of countries is the shortest this decade.
20 to 12 is quite an achievement. Especially when you consider that two of the remaining holdouts include China and Cuba. And there are too many other priorities with China. Here's the full list.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials couldn’t immediately say how many people have been deported because of the changes, but Somalia has taken back 259 just seven months into the fiscal year. That is far more than the 198 it took back in all of 2016 and the 17 it took in 2015.
The countries that dropped off the list, in addition to Somalia and Iraq, were Afghanistan, Algeria, Burkina Faso, the Gambia, Mali, Senegal and Sierra Leone.
Other countries still on the recalcitrant list are China, Cuba, Burma, Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea, Iran, Laos, Morocco, South Sudan and Vietnam. Hong Kong was added into the list this month because its repatriation policy is controlled by China.
South Sudan is barely a country. We're effectively at war with Iran. But for most of the rest, we could easily crack down. And it looks like we're starting to do that.