CRAMER: Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act Passes House
WASHINGTON D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer supported legislation passed in the House of Representatives today, which ensures that alien gang members are kept off our streets.
The Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act (H.R. 3697) bars known alien gang members from coming into the United States and allows U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers to deport them if they’re participating in gang activity. Additionally, the bill ensures criminal alien gang members are not eligible for immigration benefits, such as asylum, special immigration juvenile status, and temporary protected status, which are reserved for those around the world most in need of protection.
“Protecting Americans is my number one priority and it makes me sick every time I hear of an innocent person losing their life to gang activity,” said Cramer. “We will not tolerate violent gangs like MS-13 taking advantage of our immigrations laws to bring drugs, violence, and other illegal activities to our communities. The Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act guarantees criminal alien gang members are not allowed through our borders and makes it easier for ICE to remove them.”
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has found that a majority of gang members in transnational gangs are foreign-born nationals. Under current law, it is not possible to deport such gang members unless they are convicted of an independent crime. In Fiscal Year 2016, over 2,000 criminal aliens removed by ICE were suspected of participating in gang activity. ICE also made more than 8,000 gang-related criminal arrests, leading to more than 2,600 convictions.
MS-13 originated in Los Angeles in the 1980s, and currently participates in at least 40 states across America and the District of Columbia. According to the Department of Justice, the notoriously violent MS-13 gang has roughly 10,000 members inside the United States and more than 40,000 globally. Most members are originally from Central America.