Washington, D.C. – 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.) today introduced the Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act (H.R. 3697) to combat 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.

Representatives Comstock, King, and Labrador and Chairman Goodlatte issued the statements below on today’s introduction of the Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act.

Congresswoman Comstock: “In Northern Virginia there have been at least eight brutal murders tied to the transnational MS-13 gang since last November.  That is unacceptable, and this legislation will help get these violent gang members off our streets. MS-13 preys upon and intimidates those who have come to our country to seek a better life.  The Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act will give important tools to law enforcement like the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force so that they can effectively do their jobs to deport alien gang members.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to see this important legislation passed so we are safer as a community, Commonwealth, and nation.”

Congressman King: “On Long Island, gangs like MS-13 must be crushed. We cannot tolerate innocent people in our communities being slaughtered, butchered and intimidated by these criminals. This important legislation will assist law enforcement in keeping our communities safe from their reach and influence.”

Congressman Labrador: “The most important function of the federal government is to keep our communities safe and secure. Those who illegally enter our country and participate in criminal gangs need to be arrested and deported immediately. They should not be allowed to stay in our country to victimize innocent Americans. The bill we’re introducing today will make our communities safer by making it easier to deport alien gang members. We are taking an important part of the Davis-Oliver Act, which I introduced, to strengthen our security. I’m proud to join Chairman Goodlatte, Rep. Comstock, and Rep. King in introducing today’s bill and I will work hard for its passage.”

Chairman Goodlatte:  “The primary duty of the federal government is to keep Americans safe. We must ensure our nation’s immigration laws are not exploited by dangerous gang members, like MS-13, seeking to bring crime and illicit activity to our communities. The Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act makes it clear that criminal alien gang members are not eligible to come to the United States and ensures that they are kept off our streets. I thank Representatives Comstock, King, and Labrador for introducing this targeted, common sense bill to protect our communities and look forward to its consideration on the House floor next week.”

To learn more about the House Judiciary Committee’s work to improve our nation’s immigration laws, click here.

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