However, federal law requires the secretary of state to stop issuing visas to the citizens of any country that refuses to take back its nationals. Such a threat would have a remarkable effect on a country’s willingness to cooperate, increasing the “likelihood of removal in the reasonably foreseeable future” and thereby allowing for detention longer than six months, if necessary. As the Supreme Court explained, its holding “does not mean that every alien not removed must be released after six months.”
So, why are we still releasing criminals? Have China, Jamaica, and the rest stubbornly defied our cutoff of their visas?
Hardly. What’s actually happened is that nothing’s happened. The State Department has ignored the legal mandate and just keeps on issuing visas in countries that won’t take back their own citizens. Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry have decided it’s better for ICE to release criminal aliens into American communities — even at the risk of their committing further crimes — than to risk upsetting relations by halting the issuance of visas, as required by law.