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Possible US Visa Sanctions Against Cambodian Nationals

Transcript of the above video:

In this video, we're going to be discussing some recent developments with respect to visa sanctions associated with Cambodian nationals. Now usually on this channel, I talk specifically about Thailand although I probably should sort of make some of these videos more broadly because I do handle cases for nationals and beneficiaries from various countries in the surrounding region - Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore occasionally even Malaysia, mostly from Thailand. But I have handled cases where the beneficiaries from one of these other countries, Philippines as well.

In a recent turn of events it would look as though U.S., the United States specifically through its organs in the U.S. State Department may be poised to go ahead and let me, sort of, what can be described as visa sanctions against Cambodian nationals. This is coming from Diplopundit’s website or blog, if you want, The title of the article that was written on that blog is “U.S. to invoke visa sanctions for four countries unwilling to accept deported nationals.” To quote directly here, “The Washington Times reported yesterday that the Trump administration has now triggered visa sanctions against four countries that have refused to take back citizens the U.S. is trying to deport.”

The State Department confirmed the move according to the reporter but declined to name the specific countries. The Washington Times citing “sources” who tracked the deliberations in recent weeks said that the four countries are as follows - Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

This is from the Phnom Penh post. It was published Friday, 25th of August 2017 by an Erin Andly and the title is “U.S. imposed visa ban purportedly in response to Kingdom's refusal to accept deportees.” To quote directly from that article, “The United States is set to impose visa sanctions on Cambodia reportedly in response to Cambodia's halt on accepting deportees with criminal convictions in the U.S. To further quote, “The official suggested however that was unlikely all U.S. visas would be halted for Cambodians.”

I guess what can be taken away from this is one, it seems like this is a fairly serious set of circumstances and two, it remains to be seen and how broadly this is going to be enforced and how long this is going to actually infect visa processing as a practical matter in the foreseeable future. What I seem to think is I suspect it might end up sort of like the recent announcement of no longer issuing Russian non-immigrant visas. But that being said, this is sort of a qualitatively different issue than the Russian situation.

There's another video on this channel specifically detailing recent events and recent circumstances which has led to decrease processing of visa applications for non-immigrant visa holders in Russia. Getting back to Cambodia, this is sort of qualitatively different. Basically, the United States ICES service which is the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service. Basically, what those folks do is illegal immigrants in the United States or those who have been convicted of a crime in the United States have served their time. It's ICE’s job to deport those foreign nationals. As has been noted in these articles, there are four countries which have been basically systemically refusing to accept deportees of their own nationals back to their home countries.

And let me be clear, I don't want to sound overly clinical about this. There is a human aspect to all of this where being deported to once “home country” can be something of a traumatic event because there are certain circles. Where lawful permanent residents in the United States have never lived in these countries that their nationals up and it's just sort of a matter of circumstance that they never were naturalized U.S. citizenship but they're still subject to deportation. So there is a human element to this where there are some tragic consequences with respect to deportation such as these.

But that being said, it would appear that the United States is not particularly happy with these countries who are refusing to accept their nationals back in after they're deported from the United States and the Trump administration has taken a hard line across the board with respect to immigration. And as previously noted in other videos, notwithstanding the fact that certain bans and certain restrictions were put in place for “Muslim countries,” it was always my contention that across the board immigration policy and immigration practice and procedure were going to be tightened up. And I think its evidence from this recent turn of events with respect to Cambodian nationals and visas possibly being stalled refusal to issue new visas based on prior circumstances with respect to relations between the United States and Cambodia with respect to deportation policies.

How this is going to play out remains to be seen. As this further develops, I will try to do another video with respect to this but for now, I've yet to see this actually implemented. But it's looking like its going to happen at least in some way. If it's going to only amount to a non-immigrant visa ban, that's possible. If it's going to be across the board on immigrant visas, it may only apply to the Cambodian embassy or the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia. Whether or not is possible for Cambodians to still get visas from posts outside of Cambodia, again remains to be seen but we'll keep you updated with respect to the developments of this sort of as they progress.