Why some Southeast Asian criminals can't be deported from the U.S.


VUNG TAU, VIET NAM: A policeman stops press photographers from taking pictures at Phuoc Co prison.



Thanks to a controversial Supreme Court ruling, the U.S. is forced to release ex-cons from certain Southeast Asian nations onto the streets after they've served their prison sentence.

Which nations? I'll give you a hint. They're all either currently or formerly communist states bombed by the U.S. within the last 40 years.

Turns out Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia often won't take back their citizens after they illegally enter the U.S. and commit crimes, according to an interesting report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Relations with all three countries have drastically improved since the anti-communist Cold War days. Still, their refusal to repatriate their citizen criminals has put the U.S. in a tough position.

As the Tribune reports, four members of the Cambodian "Blood Red Dragons" gang stabbed a 16-year-old to death outside of Boston. One of the members, a Cambodian citizen and illegal immigrant, was just released. The other gang members can likely expect the same.

Why? Because the Supreme Court ruled in 2001 that foreign criminals can be detained for only six months after their sentence ends. After that, they must be set free and can even get a work permit and driver's license.

Immigration authorities have had to release more than 1,700 ex-cons under similar conditions since 2008, according to Fox News.