House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Vice-Chairman Raúl Labrador have unveiled legislation to strengthen immigration enforcement, enhance public safety, protect national security, and ensure the rule of law.
Read more below or Chairman Goodlatte and Rep. Labrador’s op-ed on Fox News.
The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act (H.R. 3003), introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Representatives Steve King (R-Iowa) and Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), strengthens the law to combat dangerous sanctuary policies that shield unlawful and criminal immigrants 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 and Grant’s Law, which ensures unlawful immigrants convicted of drunk driving or arrested for other dangerous crimes are detained during their removal proceedings. This provision is named after Sarah Root and Grant Ronnebeck. In January 2016, an unlawful immigrant driving drunk struck Sarah Root’s car and subsequently killed her. She had just graduated from college. To make matters worse, the person responsible was released from custody and is still on the loose. And in January 2015, Grant Ronnebeck was murdered at a convenience store by a convicted felon who was free on bond while facing deportation.
Kate’s Law (H.R. 3004), authored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), protects public safety by enhancing penalties for deported felons who return to the United States. The bill is named after Kate Steinle, who was murdered in San Francisco by an unlawful immigrant who had previously been deported five times and was convicted of multiple felonies.
The Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act (H.R. 2431) is authored by Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Vice-Chairman Raúl Labrador (R-ID) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).
The Davis-Oliver Act, named after Placer County Detective Michael Davis, Jr. and Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff Danny Oliver who were murdered by an unlawful immigrant in October 2014, improves the enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws to enhance public safety. The bill provides tools to crack down on dangerous sanctuary city policies and contains much needed changes to protect American communities from unlawful immigrants who commit crimes in the United States.
The Davis-Oliver Act also protects national security by improving our nation’s first line of defense, the visa issuance process. It provides thorough screening of foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States in order to prevent terrorists from entering the United States. The bill also ensures the rule of law and removes the ability of any President to unilaterally shut down immigration enforcement by granting states and localities the authority to enforce their own immigration laws consistent with federal practices.
The Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on May 24, 2017.
The Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act (H.R. 391), originally introduced by Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and now sponsored by Representative Mike Johnson (R-La.), reforms our nation’s asylum laws.The recent surge of Central American unaccompanied alien minors and family units seeking to enter the U.S. illegally at our southern border put a strain on manpower and resources. It also exposed loopholes in our nation’s immigration laws that are being exploited by smugglers and others seeking to game the system. The Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act makes a number of improvements to our nation’s laws to prevent fraud and abuse in the system and ensure that asylum is reserved for those truly fleeing persecution in their home countries.
The Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 3711), introduced by Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), preserves jobs for citizens and legal workers by requiring U.S. employers to check the work eligibility of all future hires through the E-Verify system.
Created in 1996 and operated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), E-Verify checks the social security numbers of newly hired employees against Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security records to help ensure that they are genuinely eligible to work in the U.S. The program quickly confirms 99.8% of work-eligible employees and takes less than two minutes to use. Over 740,000 American employers currently use E-Verify and 83% of America’s employers support a mandatory electronic verification system.
The Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act (H.R. 3697), introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.), Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), combats gang violence by criminal aliens and enhance public safety.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has found that membership of violent transnational gangs is comprised largely of foreign-born nationals. In order to protect Americans from these violent gangs, the Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act ensures that alien gang members are kept off our streets by barring them from coming to the United States and detaining and removing them if they are criminal gang members or participate in gang activity. Additionally, the bill ensures that criminal alien gang members are not eligible for immigration benefits, such as asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, and temporary protected status, which are reserved for those around the world most in need of protection.
The Agricultural Guestworker Act, or the AG Act, replaces the outdated and broken H-2A guestworker program with a reliable, efficient, and fair program. The H-2A program is widely known to be expensive, time-consuming, and flawed. Each year, employers using the H-2A program have to comply with a lengthy labor certification process that is slow and plagued with red tape. As a result of complying with H-2A regulations, employers using the program almost always find themselves at a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace.
To provide American farmers with access to a legal, stable supply of workers, the AG Act creates a new H-2C guestworker program designed to meet the needs of the diverse agriculture industry. Under the bill, the guestworker program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and covers year-round employers, like dairies, aquaculture operations, food processors, and others. Further, the AG Act allows experienced unauthorized agricultural workers to continue working in agriculture and provides more flexibility to American farmers with respect to housing, transportation, and touchback periods.