House Approves Two Immigration Enforcement Bills, Davis-Oliver Next?

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Yesterday, the House of Representatives approved a pair of immigration enforcement bills—Kate’s Law by a vote of 256-167 (with 24 Democrats crossing the aisle) and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act by a vote of 228-195. The bills, introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and backed by the White House, seek to enhance public safety by punishing sanctuary cities and criminal aliens who re-enter the U.S. after deportation.

Kate’s Law is a narrow, straightforward bill that increases current maximum sentences for illegal reentry into the United States. However, unlike previous iterations of the bill, it does not create mandatory minimum sentences for illegal reentry, allowing judges to determine the severity of the sentence. The bill’s namesake is Kate Steinle, who was brutally murdered in San Francisco by an illegal alien with seven convictions and five deportations under his belt.

The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act strengthens existing law to combat dangerous sanctuary policies that shield illegal aliens—including many with criminal convictions—from federal immigration enforcement. Specifically, the bill clarifies U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer authority—the tool used by federal immigration enforcement officers to pick up criminal aliens from local jails—by establishing statutory probable cause standards to issue detainers for the first time. It also withholds certain federal grants from jurisdictions that violate federal law by prohibiting their officers from communicating with ICE. The bill protects jurisdictions that comply with detainers from being sued, while allowing victims of crime to sue jurisdictions that refuse to comply and subsequently release criminal aliens onto the streets.

The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act also contains Sarah’s Law and Grant’s Law, which ensure illegal aliens convicted of drunk driving or arrested for other dangerous crimes are detained during their removal proceedings. These provisions are named after Sarah Root and Grant Ronnebeck. In January 2016, an illegal alien who was in a drunken street race struck Sarah Root’s car, killing her. To make matters worse, Sarah’s killer was released from custody and is still a fugitive from justice. Just one year earlier, Grant Ronnebeck was murdered at a convenience store by a convicted felon who was free on bond while facing deportation.

With Kate’s Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act now moving to the Senate, the House will be under immense pressure to pass the Davis-Oliver Act, a comprehensive enforcement bill that was recently approved by the House Judiciary Committee. The bill—which President Trump reiterated his support for Wednesday—aims to increase cooperation between federal and local officials in the enforcement of existing U.S. immigration laws.

Like the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, the Davis-Oliver Act cracks down on dangerous sanctuary city jurisdictions by clarifying ICE detainer authority, withholding federal grant funding, and protecting compliant jurisdictions from the threat of lawsuits. The bill also takes a number of steps to enhance public safety. Notably, it broadens the list of deportable offenses and expands expedited removal. It also contains provisions to penalize “recalcitrant” countries that either refuse or delay repatriation of their nationals after they have been ordered removed from the United States.

The bill also protects national security by improving the nation’s first line of defense, the visa issuance process. It provides thorough vetting of foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States in order to prevent terrorist entry. The bill also promotes the rule of law and removes the ability of any president to unilaterally dismantle immigration enforcement by granting states and localities the authority to enforce their own immigration laws consistent with federal practices. Lastly, the bill authorizes the hiring of 12,500 additional ICE agents and provides ICE with more resources.

FAIR supports the Davis-Oliver Act and continues to fight for its consideration on the House floor.

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About Author

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RJ Hauman joined FAIR in 2015, bringing valuable legislative, regulatory, and political experience to the organization. In his role, he oversees the Government Relations department and leads FAIR’s advocacy efforts before Congress and the administration. RJ also serves as a FAIR media spokesperson on a variety of immigration issues and pending legislation. During his time on Capitol Hill, RJ gained immigration policy experience as an aide to former Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA), who chaired the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement. RJ holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Clemson University.

7 Comments

  1. Pingback: HOUSE APPROVES TWO IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT BILLS, DAVIS-OLIVER NEXT? - The Virginia Free Citizen

  2. avatar
    George Peabody on

    ARREST illegal alien usurper Barack H. Obama aka Barry Soetoro to NDAA Prison for TREASON, I.D. Fraud Voter Fraud, Immigration Violation, SS# Fraud, Murder, ETC! PS: Criminal I.D. Fraud alien Barack Obama aka Barry Soetoro aka USURPER Obama is THE MOST DANGEROUS THREAT to USA!
    ARREST illegal alien usurper Barack H. Obama aka Barry Soetoro to NDAA Prison for TREASON, I.D. Fraud Voter Fraud, Immigration Violation, SS# Fraud, Murder, ETC! Install CC camera connected to internet one way view looking in on Obama by Americans and the World to keep Obama from escaping. Pay 4 View at 10¢ of Obama in prison writing his $60-M memoirs with a pencil on toilet paper will raise so much money Americans will never again have to pay taxes. Add in Clintons and Soros in prison, and the Pay4View will be so popular that the $20-Trillion Debt will be paid off in 5-years. Arrest them NOW! Pay4View online! DO IT NOW ! Seriously!
    And, impeach these judges and Hawaii governor David Ige for putting America at risk, as in TREASON, for their own political agendas.

  3. avatar

    THIS IS “WONDERFUL”!! WHY HAS IT TAKEN SO LONG TO GET THIS THROUGH”? “I’M SURE “PRESIDENT TRUMP WILL SIGN THIS MOST IMPORTANT LAW”!!! Jim

    • avatar
      The Old Chip on

      Kate’s law originally came up for a vote in July/August 2015. One, dianne feinstein; all outraged,distraught and flustered, demanding an immediate investigation of sanctuary city (now over 300) policies – BUT, to show their hypocrisy and true colors; feinstein, and her California cohort boxer, along with some 52 other demo Rats, voted against Kates Law, that would have actually done something about it. Senate Democrats blocked legislation that would punish “sanctuary cities” in a 54-45 vote.
      Kate Steinle was out on a walk with her dad in san fransicko when she was shot in by a FIVE time DEPORTED ILLEGAL alien with SEVEN FELONY convictions. He, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, admitted that he, again, went to san fransicko because he knew they would protect him from ICE and deportation.

  4. avatar
    Larry Schreiber on

    Let’s get all this legislation passed and on President Trump’s desk for his signature.

  5. avatar
    conservativeprof on

    Excellent! Bravo to the House leadership. Even some Democrats supported this reasonable and long overdue legislation.