Washington, December 31
US President Donald Trump has indefinitely extended the visa sanctions on countries refusing to repatriate their citizens who violated laws in the United States.
The visa sanctions on such countries were set to expire on December 31.
Trump issued a memorandum on April 10 which empowered the Secretary of State and the homeland security secretary to deny visas to countries refusing to accept their citizens who violated American laws.
“In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the continuing public health risk it poses to Americans,” Trump said in a memorandum issued on Wednesday that his April 10 “memorandum shall continue in force until terminated by the president”.
According to the April 10 memorandum, the Secretary of State is authorised to “initiate a plan to impose the visa sanctions” if the Homeland Security Department determines a country not accepting returnees is delaying or impeding operations “necessary to respond to the ongoing pandemic”.
The April 10 memorandum noted that countries “denying or unreasonably delaying” the repatriation of their citizens would be deemed to be causing “unacceptable public health risks for Americans”.
“Countries that deny or unreasonably delay the acceptance of their citizens, subjects, nationals, or residents from the United States during the ongoing pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 create unacceptable public health risks for Americans,” Trump had said in his memorandum. — PTI