On Sept. 13, the U.S. State Department announced they would be banning the issuance of new travel visas for certain citizens from four specific countries due to their refusal in accepting their own people who’d been deported from the U.S., according to the Washington Examiner.
One of those nations was Cambodia, and their refusal to accept deportees back into their own country has forced Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to release some 1,900 Cambodians who had been slated for deportation.
The ban on new visas for Cambodians was narrowly tailored and only applied to senior Foreign Ministry employees and their families, and would be lifted as soon as Cambodia agreed to cooperate in accepting deportees.
However, rather than cooperate with the State Department or immigration officials, Cambodia decided to retaliate, according to ABC News, and announced the suspension of recovery efforts led by U.S. military teams that are searching for the remains of U.S. soldiers lost in the southeast Asian nation during the Vietnam War.
It is estimated that there are some 48 American soldiers who remain unaccounted for and whose remains are believed to be somewhere in Cambodia.
Cambodia has called the repatriation of their convicted citizens “bad and inhumane” and have sought to amend or redo a 2002 agreement they reached with the U.S. on repatriation.