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Wicker, Hyde-Smith act to close illegal...

Wicker, Hyde-Smith act to close illegal immigrant ‘catch & release’ loophole

By: Anne Summerhays - June 13, 2022

Mississippi Senators cosponsor “Keep Our Communities Safe Act.”

Last week, U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) helped introduce the Keep Our Communities Safe Act (S.4370), which would close the loophole—referred to as “catch and release”—that allows illegal immigrants, including those with criminal records, to remain in the United States.

S.4370 would close the “catch and release” loophole that prevents the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from detaining non-removable immigrants beyond the current Supreme Court-mandated six months in these specific situations:

  • The alien will be removed in the reasonably foreseeable future;
  • The alien would have been removed but for the alien’s refusal to make all reasonable efforts to comply and cooperate with the Secretary’s efforts to remove him;
  • The alien has a highly contagious disease;
  • Release would have serious adverse foreign policy consequences;
  • Release would threaten national security; or
  • Release would threaten the safety of the community and the alien either is an aggravated felon or has committed a crime of violence.

Senator Wicker said that this act would take a critical step toward containing our border crisis by fixing our broken catch-and-release policy and beginning to reestablish the rule of law.

“Illegal immigration is occurring at the highest rate on record,” Wicker said. “If President Biden will not act to control rampant illegal border crossings, then Congress must do everything possible to deter them from happening.”

Senator Hyde-Smith said that this bill is intended to protect our communities by eliminating the loophole known as ‘catch and release’ and ending the exploitation of the law,

“Under no circumstances should violent criminals be allowed to circumvent our laws and be released back into the United States,” Hyde-Smith said.

U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) introduced the measure and said that S.4370 would close the ‘catch-and-release’ loophole, which puts law abiding citizens, local law enforcement officials and communities at risk.

“Our bill will ensure that illegal aliens who have been found guilty of violent crimes and aggravated felonies are not able to remain in our communities. As the current law stands, an illegal alien with a criminal record is released back into the United States after six months if no other country accepts them for deportation. This bill is a commonsense solution and it’s time for it to become law,” Senator Inhofe said.

In addition to Wicker and Hyde-Smith, additional cosponsors include Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Jim Risch (R-ID), John Kennedy (R-LA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Mike Braun (R-IN), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Steve Daines (R-MO), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and John Barrasso (R-WY).

“Violent criminals should under no circumstances be released back into our communities,” Senator Cruz said. “It is imperative that we close the ‘catch-and-release’ loophole and repair our fractured immigration system. Texas is in desperate need of relief at the border, and the Keep Our Communities Safe Act is a step in the right direction. Forcing our Border Patrol agents to eventually release everyone is incomprehensible and threatens the safety of Texans, and of Americans nationwide.”

“America’s border crisis threatens our national security and the safety of our local communities,” said Senator Kennedy. “We can’t afford to send violent offenders out into the country, and the Keep Our Communities Safe Act would make sure that officials don’t ‘catch and release’ offenders when they are here illegally.”

“Our Southern Border is in disarray, and the Biden Administration refuses to enforce immigration laws,” Senator Rubio said. “This bill would put an end to “catch and release practice,” which does nothing but incentivize more people to make the dangerous trek across our southern border.”

“Under no circumstance should an illegal immigrant with a history of violence be released into the U.S. through this loophole. Not only is this a danger to our communities and law enforcement as President Biden’s border crisis rages on, but it’s also an insult to immigrants who follow our laws and come here legally. This is a common sense fix that is sorely needed,” Senator Grassley said.

You can view the full copy of the Keep Our Communities Safe Act below.

The Keep Our Communities Safe Act (S.4370) by yallpolitics on Scribd

About the Author(s)
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Anne Summerhays

Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth. Email Anne: