Mr. Speaker, I want to talk about immigration chaos that is occurring in this country.
There has been a lot of talk about immigration, border security and all of the problems that are occurring. But let's talk about one that has maybe slipped through the cracks and we don't hear too much about.
We have people in this country that have come from foreign nations that are illegally in the United States. Some of those people are criminals. They have gone to penitentiaries throughout this country. Our Federal Government then captures those individuals, takes them to an immigration judge. They are ordered deported back to their nations, and here is what happens: eight of those nations refuse to take back lawfully deported aliens. They won't take back their own citizens. Remember, all of these people are illegally in the United States, many are criminals.
How many people are we talking about? Well, we are talking about 136,000 individuals. The cost to the taxpayers to incarcerate those individuals while they are waiting deportation hearings is $83 million. Who are those nations? Well, seven of the eight, Vietnam, China, India, Ethiopia, Iran, Laos, and Jamaica. They get a permanent get-out-of-jail-free card in the United States because we cannot permanently detain these people in jail after they have been ordered deported and their country of origin refuses to take them.
So what do we do about it? Well, I think that these countries, any nation that refuses to take back lawfully deported individuals, should not receive foreign aid from the United States. But many of these seven or eight that I have mentioned do not receive foreign aid. So why don't we make sure that these people take back their aliens?
Well, we already have a law on the books that says under section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, upon notification by Homeland Security that a country is not accepting or unreasonably delays repatriation of their citizens, the Secretary of State must discontinue granting immigrant or nonimmigrant visas to those citizens of that country until Homeland Security informs the Secretary of State the alien has been repatriated.
That sounds good, but the problem is Homeland Security doesn't enforce the rule of law; and the reason they don't enforce the rule of law, according to a letter we have received from Homeland Security, is that there are other sanctions that they must use because we have foreign policy issues specifically with the Chinese. So apparently Homeland Security is not even notifying our own Secretary of State to deport these individuals.
Mr. Speaker, this ought not to be. If a person is supposed to be lawfully deported back to their native country, even China, Homeland Security has the obligation to follow the law and tell the Secretary of State so these people can be shipped back to where they belong.
It is simple, if you come to America illegally, you go home after you are lawfully deported. If your own nation doesn't want you, then you don't get foreign aid, or you don't get any visas for any purpose.
These people that these countries will not take, 136,000, have become our problem because their nations don't even want their own citizens. Our government needs to be more concerned about the rule of law, the cost to the American taxpayer than it is about hurting the feelings of the Chinese on some foreign policy issue.
So, Mr. Speaker, we urge that Homeland Security follow the law and if you are ordered deported and these nations won't take them, then they shouldn't receive any visas to come to this country for any purpose.
And that's just the way it is.