House to Vote on Illegal Immigration Bills Thursday
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by Countable | 6.28.17
The House will vote on two bills aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration Thursday, putting one of President Donald Trump’s signature issues in the spotlight before Congress adjourns for its Fourth of July recess.
First up on the House’s docket will be the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which would withhold federal law enforcement grants from cities & states that have declared themselves sanctuaries for unauthorized immigrants by not assisting the federal government in enforcing immigration law. It would also establish probable cause standards for detainer requests issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as some sanctuary jurisdictions only honor detainers if there’s probable cause. Sanctuary jurisdictions would be exposed to lawsuits filed by the victims of crimes committed by unauthorized immigrants after the jurisdiction released them from custody.
It also contains a section entitled Sarah and Grant’s Law that prohibits unauthorized immigrants convicted of drunk driving or charged with violent crimes from being released on bond while they wait for their deportation hearings. The provision is named after Sarah Root, who was killed by a drunk driving unauthorized immigrant who was subsequently released on bond, escaped, and is still at large; and Grant Ronneback, who was murdered by a convicted felon who was free on bond while awaiting deportation proceedings.
The second bill on Thursday’s agenda will be Kate’s Law, which has been a part of Trump’s immigration policy platform since he first released his campaign’s 10-point plan last year. Kate’s Law would allow for the enhancement of criminal sentences meted out to unauthorized immigrants who repeatedly re-enter the U.S. Punishments would be progressively harsher for unauthorized immigrants who have been convicted of misdemeanors or felonies, based on the severity of their offense. The bill is named after Kate Steinle, who was murdered in San Francsico (a sanctuary city) by an unauthorized immigrant who’d been deported five times and convicted of seven felonies.
Whether either proposal will attract the support of Democrats in the House remains unclear, as neither bill received a committee vote before it was brought to the floor, but votes in the Senate last year on similar proposals were contested along party lines.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Immigration and Customs Enforcement / Public Domain)
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