Sen. Joni Ernst Introduces Bill to Block and Deport Convicted Sex Criminals From the United States

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Posted: Oct 09, 2021 6:30 PM
Sen. Joni Ernst Introduces Bill to Block and Deport Convicted Sex Criminals From the United States

Source: Caroline Brehman/Pool Photo via AP

This week, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, a Republican, introduced a bill that would disqualify foreigners with a history of sexual violence from entering the United States.

The bill, known as the “BE GONE” Act, which stands for “Better Enforcement of Grievous Offenses by un-Naturalized Emigrants Act,” would make “sexual assault and aggravated sexual violence” a disqualifying act for individuals seeking to immigrate to the United States. This would apply to individuals who are given the temporary status of “humanitarian parole,” Ernst’s office published in a press release this week. 

“Under the Biden Administration, our immigration system is strained to its limits, all by crises born out of their own mistakes. A key challenge and easy fix we must address immediately is ensuring sexual predators and criminals are identified, stopped, and deported,” Ernst said in a statement. “This measure is a commonsense solution to modernize the immigration system and combat sexual violence and those seeking to exploit our laws.”

The Act would give law enforcement the power to deport individuals trying to immigrate who’ve committed sexual crimes or sexual assault. According to the press release, it would also amend the “Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965” to include sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence as a disqualifying crime for foreigners applying for residence, and deportable for non-citizen resident immigrants.

As we covered, immigration has been a top priority for Ernst, especially after our withdrawal from Afghanistan. In an interview in August, Ernst emphasized the importance of only welcoming Afghans into the country who’ve been fully vetted. Currently, Ernst has 11 cosponsors on the “BE GONE Act.” 

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