House lawmakers passed "Kate's Law", named after Kate Steinle, who was killed two years ago by a repeat felon who had been deported several times before illegal reentry, along with the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act on Thursday afternoon.
The House has approved a bill to stiffen punishments for immigrants who re-enter the United States illegally.
The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act would authorize the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security to withhold certain grants from jurisdictions that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
None of the members of the CT congressional delegation - all Democrats - voted for the two bills aimed at tightening federal immigration law. "Hopefully Senate will follow".
He had emphasized tougher immigration enforcement throughout his campaign and often featured family members of victims at his campaign rallies. It also includes language named after Sarah Root, a 21-year-old who was killed when an illegal alien drove the wrong way on the highway into her vehicle while driving drunk, and Grant Ronnebeck, who was gunned down by an illegal immigrant who was free on bond while facing deportation. Previously deported illegal aliens who re-enter the USA can face up to 2 years in prison, while those with criminal records who re-enter the country can face up to 25 years, depending on the nature of prior convictions. The man charged in the killing, Apolinar Altamirano, had been released on bail while facing deportation. He remains at large. We're going to think, maybe I'll get a ticket.
"Sanctuary cities are anything but safe", Kelly said, carrying on the theme.
But ICE head Thomas Homan insists more must be done to clamp down on criminal organizations, which he said are smuggling people into the country. I would love to never have another drunk driver kill someone, but it's unrealistic.
"Is the objective of our government to protect the American people first?"
But the rhetoric contrasts with multiple studies showing that immigrants commit fewer crimes than native-born Americans, and even undocumented immigrants don't commit crimes at higher rates than Americans.
"Guess what [Kate's Law] does?"
"These bills are nothing new and they are not really about immigration or fighting crime", Rep.
Ironically, it's these Obama-era policies - focusing on "serious" criminal offenders and not the rest of the undocumented community - that have irked anti-immigrant hardliners who want to deport everyone.
"It is a safety net for people that are part of our family".
Many US representatives spoke out in outrage against the most recent bill.
President Donald Trump, who has used Steinle's case to rally support for his anti-immigrant policies, is a big backer of what's become known as Kate's Law (pdf).
"President Trump is cracking down on immigration crime".
The number of illegal crossings at the border has gone down since Trump took office, but the problem is far from remedied.
"We're calling on all members of Congress to honor grieving American families by passing these lifesaving measures in the House, in the Senate, and then sending them to my desk for a very rapid signature", Trump said during a White House meeting with crime victims Wednesday.
"People will go into hiding, people will not come forward to report crimes", said Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan) during a Thursday morning press conference on the bills, warning if the bill passes cities like New York "Will be allowing terrorists to come in and attack us again" due to lack of funds for anti-terror programs.