Congressman Crenshaw Votes To Enhance Border Security, Crack Down on Illegal Immigration
September 21, 2006
(Washington, DC) – Congressman Ander Crenshaw today voted for three separate pieces of legislation to help improve border security and help crack down on illegal immigrants. The three bills passed were the Immigration Law Enforcement Act, the Border Tunnel Prevention Act and the Community Protection Act.
“National security starts with secure borders,” said Congressman Crenshaw. “Today’s legislative package goes a long way towards keeping our communities safe by cracking down on those who willfully violate the laws of this nation and removing dangerous individuals from our streets.”
The Immigration Law Enforcement Act is designed to ensure that illegal aliens who have been detained by the Department of Homeland Security are not released back into the U.S. population. Currently the maximum period of detention for illegal immigrants, even ones who have committed violent crimes, is 6 months. This bill allows the period of detention to be renewed and extended.
The Border Tunnel Prevention Act enacts criminal penalties of up to 20 years imprisonment for individuals who knowingly construct or finance the construction of an unauthorized tunnel across a U.S. international border. In addition, individuals who recklessly permit the construction of such a tunnel on their own property are subject to imprisonment of up to 10 years. Individuals caught using such a tunnel to smuggle aliens, contraband, drugs, weapons or terrorists are subject to twice the penalty that would have otherwise been imposed.
The Community Protection Act also allows the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to detain dangerous aliens, who cannot be deported for various reasons, for longer than six months. In addition, it toughens laws against alien gang members – subjecting illegal immigrants found to be part of a criminal street gang to detention, deportation, and making them ineligible for receiving asylum or temporary protected status.