US suspends visas from Myanmar and Lao after they refuse to take deportees
As the Trump administration continues to detain and deport citizens in the name of national security, two Southeast Asian countries are refusing to accept deportees from the U.S. As a result, the U.S. is suspending visa issuance to citizens of Myanmar-formerly known as Burma-and Lao.
On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ordered both U.S. officers based in Myanmar and Lao to enforce visa restrictions on a county basis.
“As of July 9, 2018, the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon, Burma has discontinued the issuance of all B1 and B2 nonimmigrant visas for current officials at the Director General level and above from the Burmese Ministries of Labor, Immigration, and Population (MOLIP) and Home Affairs (MOHA), and their immediate family members, with limited exceptions,” the DHS Office of Public Affairs said in a press release.
The DHS continues, “As of July 9, 2018, the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane, Laos, has discontinued the issuance of all B1, B2, and B1/B2 nonimmigrant visas for current officials at the Director General level and above from the Lao Ministry of Public Security (MPS) as well as their immediate families; and all A3 and G5 nonimmigrant visas to individuals employed by Lao government officials, with limited exceptions.”
Until DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen ensures that state officials in both countries are cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Pompeo will maintain and expand visa sanctions to other groups.
Myanmar and Lao are not the only countries with imposed visa sanctions. In September 2017, the Trump administration suspended visas on several countries including Sierra Leone and Cambodia, which refused to take back U.S. nationals who were deported.
Those visa sanctions are still in place.