GOP pushes bill to crack down on illegal immigration
- Author: Myrtle Hill Jul 01, 2017,
Jul 01, 2017, 0:14
Kate's Law, named after Kate Steinle the 32-year-old women shot by an illegal immigrant while walking along a waterfront pier in San Francisco has passed. Federal agents requested that San Francisco keep him in detention due to his undocumented status but because San Francisco is a sanctuary city, it ignored those requests and released him.
Kelly said Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has deported almost 66,000 people known to be or suspected of being in the country illegally - representing a spike under Trump administration policies.
"Kate's Law" raises the maximum prison sentences for illegal aliens caught re-entering the US following deportation, with increasing penalties for repeat offenders. "Or is the goal of our government to protect felons who have entered our country illegally, broken our laws and threatened our people?"
The vote was 228-195 on the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which would make such cities ineligible for Justice and Homeland Security grants for law enforcement, terrorism, national security or immigration.
Both law have strong backing from President Donald Trump.
But Lorella Praeli, the director of immigration policy at the American Civil Liberties Union, criticized the bills, saying they were "riddled with constitutional violations that completely disregard the civil and human rights of immigrants".
The two pieces of legislation are coming up for a vote in the House, "Kate's Law" and "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act", align with the President's tough-on-immigrants approach.
Check back for updates on this developing story.
Critics have attacked the initiatives for portraying all immigrants as criminals.More news: Queen's Speech: Pomp, ritual in delivering UK gov't program
We urge Congress to pass both laws and show it's serious about protecting our borders. As the Justice Department finally acknowledged in May, jurisdictions can not ban law enforcement from sharing information about immigration status with the federal government, but there's no legal obligation that they detain people without a warrant on ICE's behalf.
According to a recent Harvard-Harris poll, 80 percent of Americans support ending the practice of sanctuary cities that refuse to turn over criminal illegal aliens to Federal authorities. The bills are separate measures introduced by Virginia Rep.
The White House declined to comment when we contacted them for our June 22 story about the MS-13 gang.
Illegal aliens who re-enter the United States are eligible to up to 25 years of Federal prison. "I think it will encourage people to report crime", she said.
The bills face an uncertain future in the Senate, however, where they could be subject to a Democratic filibuster.
The Victims of Immigrant Crime Engagement, or VOICE, will keep victims informed of the immigration proceedings of suspects and generally walk them through the complicated and often drawn-out immigration court process.
It also requires that localities comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests to detain suspects for extra time, since some jurisdictions now don't always cooperate.
"We're calling on all members of Congress to honor grieving American families by passing these life-saving messages in the House, in the Senate and then sending them to my desk for a very rapid signature", Trump said. "That's the only way we are going prevent illegal immigration", she said.
That's not a surprise, given that the Trump administration has gone beyond targeting immigrants with criminal histories for deportations as well.
Speaking on the House floor ahead of the vote, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) called the legislation "dangerous" and "anti-immigrant", and charged that the bills "perpetuate the fiction that immigrants are somehow inherently criminal".