Inhofe Introduces Keep Our Communities Safe Act, Co-Sponsors Four Additional Immigration Bills

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), today introduced the Keep Our Communities Safe Act, S. 36, with Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), John Boozman (R-Ark.), and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). The legislation would close the legal loophole that requires immigration authorities to release back into the United States illegal aliens 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."

 Sen. Inhofe also co-sponsored Kate’s Law, Sarah’s Law, the Taking Action Against Drunk Drivers Act and a bill to make aliens associated with a criminal gang inadmissible, deportable and ineligible for various forms of relief, which were also introduced in the Senate today.

 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. This catch-and-release practice puts our law abiding citizens, local law enforcement officials and communities at risk; it is time we passed commonsense legislation to protect them,” Inhofe said. “The Keep Our Communities Safe Act closes the catch-and-release loophole and will ensure that illegal aliens who have been found guilty of violent crimes and aggravated felonies are not able to remain in our communities.”

 “I am also proud to have co-sponsored four other bills that address flaws in our immigration system. The fact of the matter is that we need to protect American citizens first and foremost by ensuring those aliens who break our laws and threaten our safety are removed. There are far too many incidences of illegal aliens not being appropriately punished after committing heinous crimes. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Trump administration to secure our border and make our communities safer.”

 Background

 S. 36, Keep Our Communities Safe Act

Closes the loophole that prevents DHS from detaining non-removable immigrants beyond the current Supreme Court-mandated six months in these specific situations:

  • The alien will be removed in the reasonably foreseeable future;
  • The alien would have been removed but for the alien’s refusal to make all reasonable efforts to comply and cooperate with the Secretary’s efforts to remove him;
  • The alien 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 alien either is an aggravated felon or has committed a crime of violence.

 S. 45, Kate’s Law

Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act by imposing a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for any alien who unlawfully reenters the United States after being removed.

S. 37, Sarah’s Law

Amends the mandatory detention provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act that require the federal government to take custody of anyone who entered the country illegally, violated the terms of their immigration status or had their visa revoked and is thereafter charged with a crime resulting in the death or serious bodily injury of another person. The legislation also requires U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to make reasonable efforts to identify and provide relevant information to the crime victims or their families.

 S. 51, Taking Action Against Drunk Drivers Act

Makes habitual alien drunk drivers inadmissible and removable and requires the detention of any illegal alien who has been charged with driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated

 S. 52, Gang Members Bill

Makes aliens associated with a criminal gang inadmissible for entry into the United States, deportable, and ineligible for various forms of relief from the federal government.