Press Releases

Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Combat Gang Violence and Enhance Public Safety

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Washington, September 8, 2017 | Beth Breeding (2022255431) | comments
Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.), and Congressman Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) 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.

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

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.”

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.”

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