The United States Government has announced a new visa ban which it described as “first-of-its-kind” for specific targets.
The new visa ban will target wildlife and timber traffickers.
This was made known in a statement on Tuesday by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.
The US State Department noted that wildlife and timber trafficking are serious transnational organized crime activities that threaten national security, undermine economic prosperity, fuel corruption, and spread disease.
The new visa restriction, which relies on section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, is now in effect.
The new visa ban will help disrupt the movements and business of transnational criminal organizations, making it harder for them to smuggle illegal wildlife and timber.
“The Department of State will also impose restrictions on the immediate family of traffickers who are believed to be complicit or involved in wildlife and timber trafficking”, the statement read.
According to the US, the new ban was in furtherance of its leadership in strengthening law enforcement, countering corruption, combating organized crime, and protecting our precious natural world.