(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) In an effort to draw attention to its legislation aimed at protecting Americans, the House Judiciary Committee released a short, professionally produced video describing what the pair of bills seeks to accomplish.
The House of Representatives will vote on the measures this week, which would strengthen federal immigration laws by restricting sanctuary policies that allow criminals to go free, and increasing punishment for deported felons who return to the U.S.
The bill package, sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, includes the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, Kate’s Law, and Sarah and Grant’s Law — laws inspired by American citizens who lost their lives because of the failure to enforce our current immigration laws.
“The deaths of Kate, Sarah, Grant and too many others are tragic,” Goodlatte said in the video. “Their deaths are especially devastating since they could’ve been prevented if our immigration laws had been enforced. This week, Congress is addressing this public safety problem.”
The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act (H.R. 3003) strengthens immigration law to combat sanctuary policies that shield illegal, convicted immigrants from deportation. The bill establishes statutory probable cause, allowing authorities to detain aliens.
The bill also contains Sarah and Grant’s Law, named after Sarah Root and Grant Ronnebeck. Sarah Root was killed by an illegal driving drunk in January 2016. The criminal was released from custody instead of being held accountable for his crimes. Grant Ronnebeck was shot and killed in a convenience store by a convicted, illegal alien facing deportation.
Sarah and Grant’s Law would ensure tragedies like this are prevented, Goodlatte said. It would ensure illegal immigrants arrested for dangerous crimes, like drunk driving, are detained during their removal proceedings.
“Our bills crack down on dangerous sanctuary policies that needlessly put innocent lives at risk,” Goodlatte said in the video. “They keep our streets safe by enhancing penalties for deported felons who return to the United States and by ensuring unlawful immigrants convicted of drunk driving, and arrested for other dangerous crimes, are detained and deported.”
Kate’s Law (H.R. 3004) was also introduced in the bill package, and is named after Kate Steinle, who was murdered in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant who had been convicted of multiple felonies and deported five times already.
The law will enhance penalties and create stricter punishment for convicted felons who return to the U.S.
“Kate’s Law amends federal law to impose a sentencing enhancement for any illegal reentry offense,” said Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, a co-sponsor of the bill package. “Both of these reforms would protect all Americans from crimes committed by those who were not here legally in the first place.”
Goodlatte said he hopes the introduced legislation will improve public safety and make America a better, safer place to live.
“We owe it to the families of those who lost loved ones to take action to prevent these horrible crimes. They have waited far too long,” he said.