Proposed Law Would Punish Countries That Refuse to Take Back Their Illegal Immigrant Criminals

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: Jan 17, 2017 9:00 AM
Proposed Law Would Punish Countries That Refuse to Take Back Their Illegal Immigrant Criminals

Although the Criminal Alien Deportation Enforcement Act can’t bring back Casey Chadwick, who was murdered two years ago by an illegal immigrant whose country wouldn’t take him back, it can help prevent future criminal aliens from harming Americans in the future.

The proposed law, introduced by Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX), would force countries to take back their illegal immigrant citizens or risk losing travel visa privileges and foreign aid.

“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, reports FoxNews.com. “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.”

Jean Jaques, an illegal immigrant from Haiti, was sentenced to 60 years in prison for murdering Chadwick in 2015. He had been in the U.S. illegally since 1992 and already been in prison for 17 years for attempted murder, among other charges, but Haiti refused to repatriate him—even though the U.S. tried to send him back three times.

A 2001 Supreme Court ruling held that illegal immigrants whose home countries won’t take them back cannot be detained indefinitely. So, after being held for 205 days, Jacques was let go. Not even six months had passed before he stabbed Chadwick to death in her apartment.  

“For the sake of Casey and thousands of other Americans who have been victimized, it is time we start putting the safety of our citizens first and stop this revolving door that is allowing dangerous criminals who should be deported back onto our streets,” Babin said.

A House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in April documented that since 2013, 86,288 illegal immigrants have committed 231,074 crimes after being released from prison. Many of those illegal immigrants are ultimately deported, but some 2,166 who had served their time for various crimes were released last year when their home countries refused to take them back.

Babin’s bill would require the Department of Homeland Security report to Congress every three months the names of uncooperative countries. The federal government would then withhold foreign aid to those countries while the State Department would suspend travel visas.

According to Jessica Vaughan, the director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, 20 countries currently refuse to cooperate with the U.S., while more than 60 others make the process extremely difficult.

If what happened with Gambia is any indication, punishing countries that refuse to repatriate their citizens works.

The State Department has imposed visa sanctions only once, on Gambia, just a few months ago, which worked right away, Vaughan said.

“All they had to do was stop issuing visas to Gambian government officials, and they suddenly started cooperating, within weeks, which is fast in the diplomatic context,” Vaughan said.

Under current law, the State Department must impose sanctions upon request of the Department of Homeland Security, but that rarely happens, said Vaughan.

Claude Arnold, a former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations, said in past administrations, DHS would raise this issue to the State Department but nothing would ever happen. He believes under this proposed bill, will be more Congressional oversight.

“The U.S. is the center of international trade. As soon as businesses are not allowed to come to the U.S. to do business internationally, that’s all it would take,” Arnold said. “Those countries would start accepting back their deportees immediately because they would get such pressure from their citizenry who would be hurt financially.”

The bill has “renewed interest” with Donald Trump’s election, according to Babin, because the president-elect “has voiced his strong support for punishing countries that refuse to accept deportations.”