Immigration News: GOP Senator Jeff Sessions Introduces New Immigration Enforcement Bill
Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Arizona has introduced a new bill aimed at strengthening Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) while also cracking down on cities that protect undocumented immigrants.
The bill is named after two police officers that lost their lives at the hands of an undocumented immigrant.
Sen. Sessions announced he will introduce the Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act to prevent "the planned and sustained dismantlement of immigration enforcement in America," according to a press release.
The bill will be the Senate's version of a similar piece of legislation Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) introduced in February with Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).
Both bills have been proposed in honor of Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer County Detective Michael Davis who died in 2014 in a shootout with an undocumented immigrant named Marcelo Marquez.
On Oct. 24, Marquez and a female accomplice went on a rampage in Sacramento, ensnaring the city and surrounding area in terror and killing the two police officers, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Sen. Sessions argued the incident would never had happened if ICE enforced the nation's immigration laws properly, stating that Marquez had been deported twice and had an extensive criminal history.
"In America, tens of thousands of preventable crimes occur each year, including the most violent and heinous, because of our failure to enforce our immigration laws. Too many people are living in fear of violent gangs and drug cartels as a result," he said.
ICE has released over 76,000 undocumented immigrants with criminal records, Sen. Sessions claimed, and "There are 169,000 criminal aliens at large in the United States right now who have criminal convictions and were formally and lawfully ordered deported."
He blames the administration for allowing "sanctuary cities" and lessening the restrictions on ICE to exert its authority.
However, the new bill would remedy these problems by ensuring cooperation at all government levels and it will crack down on "sanctuary cities." These cities, which include some of the nation's largest, protect undocumented immigrants from being deported.
ICE argues the Zadvydas v. Davis ruling of 2001 prevents it from holding undocumented immigrants for extended periods of time if no nation would receive them. Under this reasoning as well as overcrowding, ICE allowed the release of 30,558 "criminal aliens" in the 2014 fiscal year. Yet, the House Judiciary Committee found that only a small percentage of these undocumented immigrants were released under the court ruling's decision.
Similarly, the previous year, ICE released 36,007 criminal undocumented immigrants, prompting Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to demand a letter determining from where they were released among other information.
Rep. Gowdy's bill has already passed the House Judiciary Committee and Sen. Session's bill could easily succeed in the Republican-controlled Senate.
In the same 2014 fiscal year, ICE conducted 315,943 removals of undocumented immigrants, including that of 177,960 who had been previously convicted of a crime.
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