Immigrants with gang ties should be absolutely barred from receiving executive amnesty, Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-NC), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Richard Burr (R-NC) argue.
Following the Obama administration’s admission that it granted executive amnesty to a known gang member — currently charged with the murder of four people in Charlotte, NC — the trio Tuesday introduced legislation to prohibit gang members from receiving such immigration benefits.
“It’s unfortunate that an act of Congress is required to explicitly prevent the federal government from providing safe haven to criminal gang members, but it’s clear that the current policies and practices are not working,” Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said.
Tuesday DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson admitted that DHS had made a mistake in granting the Charlotte murder suspect, Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez, executive amnesty under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“This case is a tragic case and this individual should not have received DACA. I cannot state that in stronger terms,” Johnson said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
Grassley noted, however, that the Rangel-Hernandez case is not unique, as since 2013 the agency has granted DACA to at least 282 known gang members and criminals.
According to the Republican lawmakers who have introduced the legislation, there must be a “zero tolerance policy” when it comes to gang affiliations and immigration benefits.
“North Carolina is unfortunately all too familiar with the tragic consequences of the Obama administration’s failure to properly vet and subsequently deport known gang members who are in the country illegally,” Tillis noted.
The senior North Carolina senator, Burr, added that since the Obama administration cannot abide by its own executive orders, Congress should step in.
“The circumstances around this bill are incredibly sad – four are dead following this administration’s inability to enforce their own ill-conceived executive order. If the President can’t take steps to ensure that Americans are safe from criminal gang members, then Congress must take preventative action. I hope that Congress will pass this law to ensure criminals cannot stay in this country, even under this President’s edict,” Burr said.
The bill, according to their release would:
*Make current and former members of a criminal gang inadmissible and deportable,
*Define gang in the same way under current criminal code, and further would allow the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General or the Secretary of State, to designate criminal gangs,
*Require mandatory detention of persons arrested by the Department of Homeland Security who are members of a criminal gang,
*Make criminal gang members ineligible for deferred action, and limits use of parole unless that gang member has provided assistance in a law enforcement matter and is needed in the United States to provide such assistance; and
*Expedite removal procedures for dangerous criminals, terrorists and gang members.