(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) An immigration bill that would end Obama-era policies, which allowed 5 million illegal immigrants to remain in the United States, passed the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday by a vote of 19-13.
The Davis-Oliver Act, named after two police officers who were murdered by an illegal immigrant, was introduced by representatives Raúl Labrador (R-ID) and Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) in an effort to promote public safety, ensure national security, and preserve the rule of law.
The bill would attempt to end sanctuary cities by stripping municipalities that refuse to enforce immigration laws of federal funding. It would allow victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants and their families to sue jurisdictions that do not comply with federal law. This would give families of victims like Kate Steinle, who was murdered by an illegal immigrant, the right to sue cities for the crimes of illegal immigrants that they release.
Goodlatte said Steinle’s murder was the result of “lax immigration enforcement.”
“While most unlawful immigrants come to the U.S. seeking a better life for themselves and their families,” Goodlatte said, “there are too many others who commit crimes against Americans.”
He said he believes the Davis-Oliver Act will protect communities by “cracking down on sanctuary jurisdictions that needlessly jeopardize Americans’ lives.”
The bill would take the President’s ability to unilaterally halt the enforcement of immigration laws. This would prohibit actions such as President Obama’s 2014 executive order, which provided amnesty to 5 million illegal immigrants.
The Davis-Oliver Act would end executive overreach by granting states and localities the right to enact and enforce their own immigration laws, as long as they are consistent with federal law.
Visa issuance under the bill would become more stringent. It would improve screening procedures by using updated technology and all public information, such as social media platforms, to determine whether a visa applicant is a security threat to the United States.
In just over a year, Twitter removed over 600,000 accounts with ties to terrorism. The Davis-Oliver Act will allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement to use this information to determine visa eligibility.
The bill also contains some small but important provisions.
ICE would be able to deport criminal gang members. Illegal immigrants who have multiple drunk driving convictions will be eligible for deportation. The bill would increase penalties for deported felons who return to the United States.
The Davis-Oliver Act helps enforce existing immigration laws, creates new statutes to keep Americans safe, and gives ICE the resources necessary to implement these increased duties by hiring 12,500 additional officers, providing them with weapons and body arm, and giving them more training.
Labrador said this is not the final solution to America’s immigration problem, but it will put the country on a path toward greater border security.
“The Davis-Oliver Act is a first and necessary step to modernize a broken immigration system,” Labrador said. “We need to give law enforcement at all levels the tools and resources they need to keep America safe and secure, and the Davis-Oliver Act does that.”