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house Bill H.R. 3004

Kate's Law: Do People Who Repeatedly Enter the Country Illegally Need Longer Prison Sentences?

Argument in favor

Longer prison sentences will help deter people who’ve been deported or barred from entering the U.S. from trying to illegally re-enter the country, and keep criminals off the streets.

Daryl's Opinion
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06/26/2017
To Deborah: illegal immigration is a misdemeanor the first time, it is a felony every time after that. And it is not a victimless crime. This a quote from the Federation for American Immigration Reform: "Apologists for illegal immigration try to paint it as a victimless crime, but the fact is that illegal immigration causes substantial harm to American citizens and legal immigrants, particularly those in the most vulnerable sectors of our population — the poor, minorities, and children. Illegal immigration causes an enormous drain on public funds. The seminal study of the costs of immigration by the National Academy of Sciences found that the taxes paid by immigrants do not begin to cover the cost of services received by them.1 The quality of education, health care and other services for Americans are undermined by the needs of endless numbers of poor, unskilled illegal entrants. Additionally, job competition by waves of illegal immigrants desperate for any job unfairly depresses the wages and working conditions offered to American workers, hitting hardest at minority workers and those without high school degrees."
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DP10's Opinion
···
06/26/2017
Entering the country ILLEGALLY is a crime. Committing crimes deserves deportation even more. Coming back after being deported and committing more crimes deserves harder punishment. Get the bad ones out, make it easier for good people to stay.
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operaman's Opinion
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06/29/2017
After growing old and developing gray hair, I throw in my support towards this long over due bill. Wonder how many citizen would be alive today if our Government had just enforced their own law. Sanctuary cities will slowly go broke, but eventually comply or apply for bankruptcy. You cannot support the poor and needy forever.
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Argument opposed

Increasing prison terms for people who illegally re-enter the country will only keep U.S. prisons full and cost taxpayers more money to keep repeat offenders incarcerated.

Dominic's Opinion
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06/26/2017
Increase prison sentences is never the answer for non violent crimes
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PrisonExpert's Opinion
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06/27/2017
Prison is not a deterrent. Tax payers pay for the incarceration. This law just increases the need for more prisons. We need a comprehensive immigration program.
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Lcg8850's Opinion
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06/29/2017
I can't see any way this is going to be more of a deterrent than the status quo. People don't want to immigrate to the US illegally; they feel they have no choice because of some combination of safety, economic, or family reasons. This would end up costing tax payers money and solving nothing
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed June 29th, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 257 Yea / 167 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Immigration and Citizenship
    IntroducedJune 22nd, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 3004?

This bill — known as Kate's Law — would create enhanced criminal sentences for re-entering the country illegally after an unauthorized immigrant re-enters or is found in the U.S. while they're the subject of an outstanding order of exclusion, deportation, or removal. It also establishes maximum penalties for unauthorized immigrants who'd been convicted of various crimes before being deported, or have repeatedly entered the country illegally.

An unauthorized immigrant who reenters the country after being removed without a criminal record could receive up to two years in prison and a fine. The following are the sentences and fines that would be imposed by this bill as punishment for reentry based on the individual's criminal history:

  • For three or more misdemeanors or a felony, the unauthorized immigrant would be imprisoned for up to 10 years;
  • For a felony conviction that carried a sentence of at least 30 months, reentry would be punished by up to 15 years imprisonment;
  • For a felony conviction that carried a sentence of at least 60 months, reentry would be punished by up to 20 years imprisonment;
  • For murder, rape, kidnapping, or a felony related to slavery or terrorism, the unauthorized immigrant's reentry would be punished by up to 25 years imprisonment.

If an unauthorized immigrant has been excluded, deported, or removed from the U.S. three or more times, they could be punished by up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine.

This legislation was named after Kate Steinle, a woman who was murdered in a sanctuary city by an unauthorized immigrant who had been deported five times and had seven felony convictions.

Impact

People who illegally re-enter the U.S. after being deported or barred from entry, their families, U.S. immigration and law enforcement agencies, and the Dept. of Justice.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3004

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Lead cosponsor Rep. Steve King (R-IA) introduced this bill along with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) to strengthen enforcement of laws against illegal immigration:

"Kate's Law amends federal law to impose a sentencing enhancement for any illegal reentry offense... [It's named] in honor of the memory of Kate Steinle, a 32 year old woman killed by an illegal alien who had several felony convictions and who had been deported from the United States five times."

The Trump administration released a statement emphasizing that it "strongly supports" this bill, which it believes would deter reentry and keep criminal unauthorized immigrants off the streets.

This bill has the support of two Republican cosponsors in the House.


Of Note: This legislation has been referred to as Kate’s Law, and was also introduced to Congress under other guises. It is named for Kate Steinle, a woman who was murdered in a sanctuary city by an unauthorized immigrant who had been deported five times and had seven felony convictions.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: By U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), www.ice.gov. Please credit by saying "Photo Courtesy of ICE". - Image. Raid described in this press release, which is listed here together with the photo. This photo is captioned 'ICE agents with some of the suspects arrested in operation "Night Moves."'. Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by User:Logan using CommonsHelper., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16133898)

AKA

Kate's Law

Official Title

To amend section 276 of the Immigration and Nationality Act relating to reentry of removed aliens.

    To Deborah: illegal immigration is a misdemeanor the first time, it is a felony every time after that. And it is not a victimless crime. This a quote from the Federation for American Immigration Reform: "Apologists for illegal immigration try to paint it as a victimless crime, but the fact is that illegal immigration causes substantial harm to American citizens and legal immigrants, particularly those in the most vulnerable sectors of our population — the poor, minorities, and children. Illegal immigration causes an enormous drain on public funds. The seminal study of the costs of immigration by the National Academy of Sciences found that the taxes paid by immigrants do not begin to cover the cost of services received by them.1 The quality of education, health care and other services for Americans are undermined by the needs of endless numbers of poor, unskilled illegal entrants. Additionally, job competition by waves of illegal immigrants desperate for any job unfairly depresses the wages and working conditions offered to American workers, hitting hardest at minority workers and those without high school degrees."
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    Increase prison sentences is never the answer for non violent crimes
    Like (240)
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    Prison is not a deterrent. Tax payers pay for the incarceration. This law just increases the need for more prisons. We need a comprehensive immigration program.
    Like (170)
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    I can't see any way this is going to be more of a deterrent than the status quo. People don't want to immigrate to the US illegally; they feel they have no choice because of some combination of safety, economic, or family reasons. This would end up costing tax payers money and solving nothing
    Like (79)
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    Entering the country ILLEGALLY is a crime. Committing crimes deserves deportation even more. Coming back after being deported and committing more crimes deserves harder punishment. Get the bad ones out, make it easier for good people to stay.
    Like (65)
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    Another absurd campaign promise from the President. Create a viable foreign worker visa program and then prosecute the criminals.
    Like (51)
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    No. Prison isn't a deterrent. People are risking death to cross the boarder already, and we don't need to pay for a larger prison population.
    Like (40)
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    Never have We put this much effort into enforcing a misdemeanor. (Yes, entering the country without legal authorization is a misdemeanor.) Are We going to put this much effort into prosecuting Pedestrians crossing on a red light? How about fighting public drunkenness? Driving juuust barely over the speed limit? All of these actions are misdemeanors the same as entering the country without legal authorization. What justification is there for obsessing over this misdemeanor and not others? It's not increased crime rates because study after study shows Immigrants commit fewer crimes than native born Citizens. It's not preventing such Individuals from receiving federal assistance without paying taxes because federal law already prohibits that. It's certainly not to reduce the presence of unauthorized Migrants in an efficient manner because most People currently in the country without authorization are here without authorization only because Their visas expired, making visa enforcement a far more efficient method. It's certainly not to prevent acts of terrorism because no record exists of a Terrorist sneaking into the United States in order to commit a crime. It's certainly not to keep such Individuals from taking jobs from Americans because the unemployment rate is already near historic lows. It's not to prevent so-called "anchor Babies" because immigration Judges will not keep immigrant Parents in the United States just because Their Children are U.S. citizens. Between 1998 and 2007, the federal government deported about 108,000 foreign-born Parents Whose Children had been born here. These Children must wait until They are 21 before They can petition to allow their Parents to join Them in the United States. That process is long and difficult. [Cf., 212(a)(9)(A)(i) and 212(a)(9)(A)(ii) of the Immigration And Nationality Act] So, there's no national security justification, no economic justification, no public safety justification. The only reason I can think to put this much effort into enforcing a MISDEMEANOR is a hatred of non-Whites and/or Foreigners in general. But that is not consistent with the idea of a country welcoming Immigrants of all stripes with the phrase "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free".
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    After growing old and developing gray hair, I throw in my support towards this long over due bill. Wonder how many citizen would be alive today if our Government had just enforced their own law. Sanctuary cities will slowly go broke, but eventually comply or apply for bankruptcy. You cannot support the poor and needy forever.
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    Entering the country is not a crime. They are looking for a better place.
    Like (18)
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    I don't understand how anyone could be against this
    Like (18)
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    If someone is fleeing such a horrible situation that they risk our border control more than once, their other options must be pretty bad. I'd rather be a place that accepts people struggling rather than one who fights them from our high mountain.
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    This increases the prison population. There isn't an upside to locking 'these' people up. Equal protection under the law.
    Like (16)
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    Our immigrants are resources, not criminals. Why force taxpayers to pay for the incarceration of nonviolent offenders?
    Like (14)
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    If it's a non violent crime why would you increase the sentence? It puts the burden on the American tax payer to keep people in jail/prison.
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    This bill discriminates against poor people, plane and simple.
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    Increases or enhancement of punishment is not the answer and will not prevent desperate people from entering the country illegally.
    Like (12)
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    So I get to pay for their upkeep AND give private prison CEOs more of my tax $ ? Nay! I will have massive healthcare to pay for if Mean Mitch gets his way. I would think true conservatives would dislike this as it's something else to pay for. Just send them back since that's now the law here in land of hopelessness and tax breaks for the rich. Or maybe just off with their heads! Our militarized ICEs are itching for more violence against minorities! <--hyperbole
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    Kate's Bill is one more step to take to protect our citizens. When people can be convicted of a crime, serve a small sentence and be deported Five times and keep coming back then you would have to be an idiot to not see that as a problem! Fix the problem!!!
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    We need people to know that they cannot violate the law in America and that if they wish to come here, do it legally and they will be welcomed.
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