South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy has introduced an immigration bill to defund President Obama’s executive amnesty and expedite the removal of criminal aliens from U.S. soil.
Named after Michael Davis, Jr., a sheriff’s deputy in California who was killed in the line of duty last year by an illegal immigrant, Gowdy’s bill would also provide a work-around for state and local governments to reinforce federal immigration laws while also implementing an annual review of the executive branch’s use of prosecutorial discretion in immigration cases.
“If we are serious about finding a long term solution to our immigration system, we must address interior enforcement,” Gowdy, the Republican chairman of the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee, said in a statement announcing the measure.
“This bill, which is one part of the Committee’s step-by-step process to address our broken immigration system, will ensure we do not repeat the mistakes of the past and help us earn back the trust of the American public,” he added.
If enacted, the bill would completely dismantle what Gowdy describes as Obama’s “unilateral, constitutional actions on immigration” by cutting off any and all funds to the initiative. It would also strip Obama and all future presidents of any power to unilaterally shut down immigration enforcement by allowing state and local governments the authorization to enforce federal immigration laws.
Gowdy’s measure would also cut some grants to “sanctuary cities” — municipalities that prohibit law enforcement from inquiring about immigration status.
The bill would also facilitate and expedite the removal of criminal aliens. And in cases where the federal government cannot remove criminal aliens straight-away, the measure would allow the Department of Homeland Security to detain them.
Last year it was revealed that more than 36,000 criminal illegal immigrants had been released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody during 2013.
In Davis’ case, the Placer County (Cali.) sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed during a traffic stop by 34-year-old Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamonte. The Mexican national had been deported twice and had a previous drug conviction.
Countries that refuse to accept the return of their citizens who have been ordered removed from the U.S. would face certain sanctions under Gowdy’s bill.
The bill would also enact mandatory detention for illegal immigrants who have been convicted of DUIs. Currently, DHS considers illegal immigrants with DUIs to be a low enforcement priority. That is at the behest of the Obama administration which says that enforcement should be focused on violent criminals and those and who pose a threat to national security.
ICE officers would also be helped by Gowdy’s law, the lawmaker insists, by strengthening their ability to make arrests for immigration violations. All deportation officers and agents will be allowed to carry firearms if the bill is passed.
Gowdy’s measure also addresses national security. The bill prohibits foreign terrorists or removable immigrants who pose a national security threat from receiving discretionary relief from removal or from being naturalized. It also addresses visa security by strengthening “the integrity of the student visa program” and granting DHS and the State Department the authority to revoke visas for foreign nationals if they pose a threat to national security.
“For decades, Americans have been promised a secure border and an immigration system that works for all Americans,” Gowdy said in his statement.
“Those promises have not been kept and both political parties bear responsibility for that. This legislation allows state and local governments to assist in the enforcement of our federal immigration laws. By doing so, we remove the ability of this or future Presidents – of either party – to systematically shut down portions of the law to suit their political purposes.”