House Passes Bill Targeting Gang Members

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The House passed a bill Sept. 14 that would give authorities the power to detain and deport suspected and convicted gang members.

The bill was passed with the support of 11 Democrats, while one Republican voted against it, CNN reported.

The measure was supported by House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said it would focus on members of gangs like MS-13. The vote came a week after President Donald Trump announced the repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

"We will not cower in the face of this brutal violence," Ryan stated, according to CNN. "We will work with the Trump administration to fight back and protect American youth. It's time to stand up for our children and end violence in our neighborhoods, once and for all."

Democrats were less enthusiastic about the proposed legislation, which will now be discussed in the Senate.

"Last week it was DACA, and you heard all the sympathy from Paul Ryan and how this should never happen, how this is a terrible thing," said Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez. "What's the first bill he brings up the very next week? 'They're all gang bangers … let's be hateful again' legislation."

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham agreed.

"This legislation is an assault on the basic due process protections afforded to everyone in our nation," added Lujan Grisham. "The sweeping discretion given to enforcement officials is so dangerously broad that it would classify nuns who assist undocumented immigrants as gang members."

The House vote showed a partisan divide on the issue shortly after Democrats and President Donald Trump reportedly reached a deal to preserve DACA.

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According to NPR, Trump's support base is not troubled by his readiness to work with the Democrats on DACA.

"I don't think it'll break up the base because I think those that are be behind [Trump] will be behind him permanently," Trump supporter Dick Gabriel told NPR.

Trump has reportedly not insisted on funding for a border wall as a condition for a deal with the Democrats on DACA.

"I think the wall itself will be built," said pharmacist Kelsey Bayliss. "I think it is good to work with Democrats with regards to DACA, I think there's a mutual agreement on everything. And we need to forget whose Republican and we need to forget whose Democrat and work for the better of the country."

Republican Rep. Steve King was more critical of the cooperation, tweeting that if a deal on DACA is made with the Democrats, "Trump's base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable and disillusioned beyond repair."

Sources: CNN via KTLA, NPR / Featured Image: U.S. Congress via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded images: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr, Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

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