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Democrats Introduce Legislation To Release Immigrant Detainees And Stop ICE Enforcement

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Democrats are introducing legislation that, if signed into law, would mandate the release of illegal aliens currently in detention and stop enforcement measures against a large number of aliens living unlawfully in the U.S.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal introduced the Federal Immigrant Release for Safety and Security Together (FIRST) Act via on Monday. While many Democratic members of Congress have urged the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for a rollback of enforcement measures amid the coronavirus pandemic, this bill marks one of the first instances where they are turning such concerns into legislative action.

“It’s a question of will our country that believes in ideals, like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, believes that everyone is born with inalienable rights,” Booker said on Monday during a virtual press conference about the bill, according to the Independent.

“We must make sure our immigration policies reflect those values and affirm the dignity and well being of all people in crisis. We don’t abandon our values, we as a nation we double down on them.”

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Booker’s office and requested an RSVP prior to the virtual press conference, but that request was never answered.

The FIRST Act would release most immigrants out of detention facilities and also stop Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from targeting at-large illegal aliens who are “not deemed a significant public safety risk” during the coronavirus health emergency.

Notably, ICE has already announced that it would scale back its enforcement and removal operations against those who do not pose serious risks to the community. However, the bill would have sweeping effects on the current immigrant detainee population in the U.S.

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There are currently 33,863 foreign nationals currently detained by ICE, according to the agency’s most recent numbers. Of these, 14,049 are listed as convicted criminals, and another 4,646 have pending criminal charges.

It’s not immediately clear who would be deemed “a significant public safety risk” under the bill’s guidelines. Nevertheless, the lawmakers argue this is an issue of health and safety.

“We’ve been following public health guidelines by staying home and practising physical distance distancing, and hopefully, emotional closeness,” Jayapal, the other sponsor of the bill, said Monday. “And of course frequently washing our hands.”

“But for immigrants and particularly those who are held in detention centres, following these guidelines can be almost impossible,” Jayapal continued.

There are a growing number of ICE detainees who have tested positive for COVID-19 — over 70 since Monday. Additionally, hundreds of DHS employees themselves have tested positive for the virus, and thousands of other employees have been quarantined due to possible exposure.

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5 comments

  1. Hadrian Alexander

    How utterly and truly un-american are these democratic fools.

  2. QUESTION!! Why are the Democrats introducing anything through legislation right now? Are they not quarantined and shutdown like the rest of us? NO laws should be introduced or passed and all politicians need to go home and sit there, just like the rest of us…if WE cannot work, neither can they! In fact, THEIR jobs are more non-essential than anyone else’s as far as I can see.

  3. So lets arrest the Governors that violate Title 8…by releasing convicts for any reason other than a completed sentence…and put them in the convicts they are so endeared too.

  4. This is bullshit we should not be detaining them we should be sending back and to make it legal to just come here what the hell are we thinking this is bullshit

  5. Joseph O'Donnell

    Democrats are using the China/Wuhan Virus threat as the crisis which should not be wasted.

    In the words of that great statesman, Rahm Emmanuel, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

    From mayors and governors imposing mandatory face masks, curbing public transportation, stay indoors orders and stating they will defy federal law and release incarcerated illegal immigrants back into society, we have reached the antithesis of reasonableness. And by reasonableness I mean rational discussion of the issues.

    Article VI, Paragraph 2 of the United States Constitution states: “This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.” Yet the Tenth Amendment to that same Constitution reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Did the framers deliberately set up a constitutional conflict?

    The simple answer according to North American Law Center is NO!

    According to NALC, “The Article VI Supremacy Clause protects “constitutional” laws passed by the law-making branch of the Federal government, so long as they are passed by constitutional means and do not violate any constitutionally protected rights.

    However, Amendment X of the U.S. Constitution protects the states and the people from the “unconstitutional” acts of the Federal government. Acts which are beyond the authority granted each branch, or are in conflict with constitutionally protected rights, are themselves, “unconstitutional.” As such, they enjoy no force of law at all, much less any form of supremacy.”

    Is there a way to resolve this apparent conflict regarding the immigration dilemma? YES.

    Federal Law has supremacy when and if it comports with the Constitution, but states do not have the right to ignore federal law in order to make political hay (and laws relating to immigration are federal, Title 8 of the United States Code; Immigration and Nationality Act). For the coastal states who would release convicted criminals back into society thereby hazarding their citizens in order to make political points, should be made aware of just what federal supremacy is.

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