Two bills, aimed at curtailing illegal immigration in the US, were successfully passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday. ‘Kate’s Law’, also known as H.R. 361, was passed 257-167. It demands the establishment of mandatory minimum sentences for cases where undocumented immigrants return to the US after deportation.
The bill now has to pass the Senate before it can be officially signed into law by President Donald Trump. Undocumented immigrants would face between five and six years in prison for the offense, which is an increase on the current minimum sentence of two years. The previous maximum sentences for those who have committed other sentences, which range between 10 and 20 years, depending on the seriousness of the crimes, have been left in place by the bill.
The second bill, the ‘No Sanctuary for Criminals Act’, sees an expansion of the rules on the ability of the actions of immigration enforcement to be interfered with by government entities. Law enforcement officials may no longer be able to get out of cooperating with federal immigration officials to enforce existing laws. The bill also says that grants administered by the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Justice may no longer be admissible by government agencies that fail to comply.
Trump had previously tried to use executive authority to do the same thing, only to be foiled by the courts. This time, the bill was able to officially pass the House by 228-195.