There is nothing new about U.S. complaints regarding China’s lack of cooperation in repatriating its citizens who have been ordered deported.
Nevertheless, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has suspended cooperation in such cases in retaliation for the visit by Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
China also canceled other efforts to keep communication channels open with Washington. Those included attempts to coordinate air and sea operations to prevent unintentional flare-ups, for example, by warships operating close to each other at sea.
The tit-for-tat regarding deportees may escalate because under law U.S. the Biden administration can punish countries that refuse to cooperate on deportations by refusing to issue new visas to that country’s citizens.
Section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act allows the U.S. to retaliate against countries that fail to repatriate deportees:
In 2021, the U.S. started distributing notices “discontinuing” visa issuance for certain individuals:
Now, the Biden administration may feel pressure to broaden the scope of these visa sanctions.
The cooperation Washington seeks is for Beijing to verify the citizenship of persons with final orders of removal from the U.S., a process that might require visits to distant villages and towns to search household registration records.
Without such cooperation, the U.S. needs to pay the cost of detention or run the risk that persons released from detention will abscond.