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(Barbados Today) – The Trump administration in the United States is making it clear, it will use its power to issue travel visas to keep countries in line who refuse to accept or delay their acceptance of people the US deports, even as COVID-19 spreads rampantly within the US.

The memorandum issued by the White House and signed by Trump, remains in effect until the end of the year. It stresses, the US will move swiftly to punish any country that is slow to accept deportees whom the US has deemed to have violated American laws.

In the memo, which referenced his January 25, 2017 Executive Order, Trump said: “In recognising the public health risk, I noted that on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced that the COVID-19 (the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2) outbreak can be characterised as a pandemic.  Countries that deny or unreasonably delay the acceptance of their citizens, subjects, nationals, or residents from the United States during the ongoing pandemic . . .  create unacceptable public health risks for Americans.  The United States must be able to effectuate the repatriation of foreign nationals who violate the laws of the United States.”

As such, the US president warned that any government that “denies or unreasonably delays the acceptance of aliens who are citizens, subjects, nationals, or residents of that country after being asked to accept [them]” the US would “no later than seven days after receipt, adopt and initiate a plan to impose the visa sanctions”.

The US said it would be prepared to immediately lift the visa sanctions once the country accepts the persons the United States wants to remove from its boundaries. 

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