The U.S. House of Representatives is considering a bill that would encourage foreign countries to take back their citizens deported from the U.S. Countries that do not would risk losing aid and travel visa privileges.
Under the proposed law from Republican Rep. Brian Babin of Texas, the Criminal Alien Deportation Enforcement Act, the Department of Homeland Security would be required to monitor countries that do not accept the return of citizens being deported from the U.S., reports Fox News.
Under the bill, DHS would pass on the names of those countries to Congress every three months. At that point, the federal government would halt foreign aid, while the State Department would suspend travel visas for countries that do not cooperate.
"The problem is hundreds of Americans are being robbed, assaulted, raped or murdered every year by criminal aliens who are then released back onto the streets because their countries of origins refuse to take them back," Babin said. "I have personally met with a number of these victims, or if the victim is deceased, I have met with their families. It is heart-wrenching."
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More than 86,000 immigrants in the country illegally have committed more than 231,000 crimes since 2013 after being released from prison, according to April 2016 findings from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Although most immigrants found guilty of committing crimes are deported, some are released back into the U.S. once they have served their time. The committee found this to be the case for 2,166 of those since 2013, after their home countries declined to accept them back. But due to a 2001 Supreme Court ruling, immigrants who are set for deportation but declined entry by their home countries cannot be detained indefinitely, so the U.S. has little choice but to set them free.
Congressional Republicans are looking to push forward immigration legislation after President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, in anticipation of having a president who will not oppose them in their efforts to toughen up immigration laws.
"We're getting Congress working on that now, and that's to secure the border and to enforce our laws with respect to violent criminals who are illegal aliens," House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said during a Jan. 12 CNN town hall meeting, reports Newsline. "We now have a president serious about securing the border, he's telling us it's one of the top six things he wants to get done in Congress, and we said, 'Absolutely.'"