China won’t cooperate with repatriation of deportees after Pelosi visit to Taiwan

There is nothing new in US complaints about China’s lack of cooperation in repatriating its deported citizens.

Nevertheless, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has suspended cooperation in such cases in retaliation for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

China has also canceled other efforts to keep communication channels open with Washington. These included attempts to coordinate air and sea operations to prevent unintended outbreaks, for example, by warships operating in close proximity to each other at sea.

The tit-for-tat over deportees may escalate because, under US law, the Biden administration can punish countries that refuse to cooperate with deportations by refusing to issue new visas to citizens of that country.

Section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act allows the United States to retaliate against countries that do not repatriate deportees:

After being informed by the Attorney General that the government of a foreign country refuses or unreasonably delays the acceptance of an alien who is a citizen, subject, national or resident of that country after the Attorney General inquired whether the government would accept the alien under this section, the Secretary of State directs the consular officers of that alien country to cease granting immigrant visas or nonimmigrant visas, or both, to citizens, subjects, nationals, and residents of that country until the Attorney General notifies the Secretary that the country has accepted the alien.

In 2021, the United States began distributing notices “suspending” the issuance of visas for certain people:

[W]We are unable to issue you a visa today as the issuance of your visa has been temporarily suspended under Section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Secretary of Homeland Security has advised the Secretary of State that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is unreasonably denying or delaying acceptance of the return of its citizens, subjects, nationals, or residents subject to final restraining orders. deportation from the United States, and the Secretary of State has directed PRC consular officials to cease granting B 1, B2, B 1/B2, F 1, F2, Jl, and J2 to PRC officials occupying the rank of Deputy Director (or equivalent) and above who are employed by the PRC National Immigration Administration (including the Exit and Entry Bureau) and their spouses and children under the age of 21 , married or not; and civil servants currently employed by the National Supervisory Commission, the Ministry of State Security and the Ministry of Public Security, as well as the spouses and children under the age of 30 of the above civil servants. Pursuant to the Secretary’s order, the issuance of your visa has been suspended. Applicants cannot appeal the suspension and we will not refund visa application fees.

When the Secretary of Homeland Security notifies the Secretary of State that the PRC has complied with U.S. requests to accept its national(s), normal visa issuance will resume. A consular officer will review your application and reassess your eligibility for the visa classification sought at that time, and may contact you if necessary about this.

Now, the Biden administration may feel pressure to expand the reach of those visa sanctions.

The cooperation Washington is seeking is for Beijing to verify the citizenship of people with final orders to deport them from the United States, a process that could require visits to remote villages and towns to search household records.

Without such cooperation, the United States must pay the cost of detention or risk those released from detention fleeing.

About Leah Albert

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