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Follow the money. The US waiver system is a massive cash-grab that's easily navigated by those with the funds and legal counsel. $585 to apply. Good for 1-5 years, based on I dunno what. No doubt, this process will be streamlined for your aforementioned "offenders".
I have a friend who was caught with a roach 35 years ago. He works in the US and is balls-deep and thousands out of pocket over this bullshit.