Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) teamed up last week to introduce the Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act.
The legislation goes after illegal aliens who are members of some of the most violent street gangs in America — a long simmering problem that federal law enforcement has been struggling to overcome in urban and suburban areas such as Northern Virginia.
The bill also bars criminal alien gang members from receiving immigration benefits such as asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, and temporary protected status.
Congresswoman Comstock said:
“In Northern Virginia there have been at least eight brutal murders tied to the transnational MS-13 gang since last November. That is unacceptable, and this legislation will help get these violent gang members off our streets. MS-13 preys upon and intimidates those who have come to our country to seek a better life. The Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act will give important tools to law enforcement like the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force so that they can effectively do their jobs to deport alien gang members. I look forward to working with my colleagues to see this important legislation passed so we are safer as a community, Commonwealth, and nation.”
Chairman Goodlatte added:
“The primary duty of the federal government is to keep Americans safe. We must ensure our nation’s immigration laws are not exploited by dangerous gang members, like MS-13, seeking to bring crime and illicit activity to our communities. The Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act makes it clear that criminal alien gang members are not eligible to come to the United States and ensures that they are kept off our streets. I thank Representatives Comstock, King, and Labrador for introducing this targeted, common sense bill to protect our communities and look forward to its consideration on the House floor next week.”
Legislation such as this treats criminal gang activity and its perpetrators with the seriousness and resolve we expect.
MS-13 is no lie, and it is clear that both the Trump administration and Congress intend to work together to end the previous administration’s hope that violent gangs such as MS-13 would simply go away.