Press Releases

Rep. Louie Gohmert Introduces The Safer D.C. Act

Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) released the following statement on ‘The Safer D.C. Act’ that he introduced which would end the sanctuary city policies in the District of Columbia:

“In the wake of the tragic murder of San Francisco resident, Kate Steinle, by a five-time deported illegal criminal alien, it is important to realize that the District of Columbia is in fact also a sanctuary city like San Francisco. Subsequently, when District police arrest individuals lacking paperwork or information regarding citizenship or immigration status they are prohibited from both investigating immigration matters and also contacting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“This type of limitation simply should not be the case. It is time to take action and start protecting cities and citizens from crimes which may be prevented with proper checking, communication and accountability between departments.

“The Safer D.C. Act would ensure that when the District of Columbia arrests an individual it is required to provide information to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) so it can determine the citizenship or immigration status of that individual. Once DHS determines than the alien is inadmissible or deportable, DHS is required to issue a detainer directing the District of Columbia to hold the alien and then take the alien into federal custody after the conclusion of any legal proceeding under DC law.

“If the Secretary fails to issue a detainer and take the alien into custody then political appointees of the Department of Homeland Security are subject to penalties. Likewise, DC employees will also be subject to civil fines for failing to comply with the law.”

“Protecting Americans from the violence of criminals illegally in the country should be a top priority. This administration has been so intentionally and recklessly dysfunctional in protecting our country that in fiscal year 2014, 36.7% of all federal sentences were for crimes by people who are not even legally in the country.

It is time to start taking action to ensure innocent, precious lives are not lost due to indolent, outlawed and politically motivated oversight. The Constitution explicitly vests Congress with exclusive jurisdiction over the District of Columbia –and we should take action. Therefore, at the very least, Congress must use our explicit Constitutional power to ensure that at least the District of Columbia is not a sanctuary city.”

Congressman Gohmert is the Chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and the Vice Chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. Prior to being elected to serve in Congress, he was elected to three terms as District Judge in Smith County, Texas and was appointed by then Texas Governor Rick Perry to complete a term as Chief Justice of the 12th Court of Appeals.

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