WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a member of the Border Security and Enforcement First Caucus, joined Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and other Republican colleagues to introduce the Keep Our Communities Safe Act. The legislation would close the legal loophole that requires immigration authorities to release back into the United States illegal immigrants who have not been accepted for deportation to other countries after being detained for six months; a practice also referred to as "catch and release."
“The fact that violent criminals can be released back into our communities as the result of a loophole is a clear example of how our immigration system is broken and in desperate need of repair,” Boozman said “This legislation will fix that by protecting American families and ensuring dangerous illegal immigrants remain detained.”
“The Keep Our Communities Safe Act closes the ‘catch-and-release’ loophole, which puts our law abiding citizens, local law enforcement officials and communities at risk,” Inhofe said. “It will ensure that illegal aliens who have been found guilty of violent crimes and aggravated felonies are not able to remain in our communities. As the current law stands, an illegal alien with a criminal record is released back into the United States after six months if no other country accepts them for deportation. It’s past time to enact legislation to fix this problem.”
The legislation is also supported by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), David Perdue (R-GA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Ted Cruz (R-TX).
The Keep Our Communities Safe Act:
Closes the loophole that prevents the Department of Homeland Security from detaining non-removable immigrants beyond the current Supreme Court-mandated six months in these specific situations:
- The illegal immigrant will be removed in the reasonably foreseeable future;
- The illegal immigrant would have been removed but for the individual’s refusal to make all reasonable efforts to comply and cooperate with the Secretary’s efforts to remove him;
- The illegal immigrant has a highly contagious disease;
- Release would have serious adverse foreign policy consequences;
- Release would threaten national security; or
- Release would threaten the safety of the community and the illegal immigrant either is an aggravated felon or has committed a crime of violence.