As the House and Senate continue to debate the best way to change America's immigration system, differences about how the two want to handle criminal illegal immigrants keep emerging.
After two police officers were killed, allegedly by illegal immigrant drunk drivers with prior DUI arrests, the debate has only become more heated.
"There are thousands of Americans killed intentionally and accidentally by illegal immigrants who have already been arrested and could have been deported from the U.S.," said Kris Kobach, an attorney who represents Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
After he was arrested in 2010 for drunk driving and unlawful carrying of a weapon, 23-year-old Andres Munos allegedly struck and killed 47-year-old Sgt. Dwayne Polk while he was driving drunk in May. In a separate incident, Jesus Cabrera-Molina admitted he was drunk and high on cocaine the night that Phoenix Police Officer Daryl Raetz was struck and killed with Cabrera-Molina’s SUV. (Cabrera-Molina denies he was behind the wheel). Munos and Cabrera-Molina are both believed to be in the country illegally, Fox News reported.
Under a House bill, Munos and Cabrera-Molina would likely get deported immediately because of their federal immigration statutes. Under s Senate bill, both men would be entitled to a hearing and a taxpayer-funded lawyer. The Senate bill also says that illegal immigrants with three or fewer misdemeanors would be allowed to remain in the country if they had children or wives in the U.S.
Advocates say that using discretion in these sorts of cases is important.
"These are real human situations that require human decisions," said Crystal Williams of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. "Drunk driving needs to be treated as the crime that it is -- an alcohol-related, a substance abuse-related crime and not something related to immigration. The two are wholly unrelated."