(The Center Square) – A new bill introduced in the U.S. Senate would make assaulting law enforcement officers and others a deportable offense.
U.S. Sen. Ted Budd, R-NC, on Thursday introduced the Protect Our Law Enforcement with Immigration Control and Enforcement (POLICE) Act. The bill would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to add a provision stating, “any alien who has been convicted of, who admits having committed, or who admits committing acts constituting the essential elements of, and offense involving the assault of a law enforcement officer is deportable.”
The law would apply to those who assault law enforcement officers, firefighters and first responders.
Current law doesn’t cover all assaults against law enforcement, meaning some foreign nationals “can remain in the country even after committing this reprehensible crime,” Budd said.
The companion bill, H.R. 2494, filed by Rep. Andrew Garbarino, R-NY, and multiple cosponsors, passed the House on Wednesday by a vote of 255 to 175.
“Supporting our police includes removing dangerous people who do them harm,” Budd said in a statement. “If an illegal immigrant commits the crime of assaulting an officer, they should be subject to immediate deportation. Our lawmakers must always back the men and women who protect and serve our communities.”
The bill was filed after a record number of people, over 7.7 million, have been apprehended or reported evading capture after illegally entering the U.S. since January 2021, and after over 300 known, suspected terrorists have been apprehended illegally entering at the northern and southern border this fiscal year alone.
The House passed the bill nine months after a North Carolina sheriff’s deputy was killed by two Mexican brothers who were in the U.S. illegally and had previously been deported.
On Aug. 11, two of three Mexican brothers allegedly killed Sheriff Deputy Ned Byrd, in Raleigh: Alder Alfonso Marin Sotelo, 25, and Arturo Marin Sotelo, 29. They both evaded capture for several days before they were caught and taken into custody on Aug. 16.
Their youngest brother, Rolando Marin Sotelo, 18, was charged with ammunition possession.
The brothers are natives of Guerrero, located at the southernmost part of Mexico, near the Guatemala border, according to Qué Pasa. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told Fox News Digital last year that the two older brothers had both entered the U.S. illegally through the southern border “on an unknown date, at an unknown place,” meaning between a port of entry, as gotaways.
After the two older Mexican brothers were apprehended, charged and detained in a regional jail in Farmville, Virginia, they escaped on April 30, according to the FBI. Alder was apprehended by Mexican authorities on May 4 in Guerrero, according to the FBI. His brother, Marin, is still at large. The FBI is requesting assistance to locate him; an investigation is ongoing.
According to ICE, Arturo was apprehended in 2010 after he illegally entered the U.S. and was deported. The second time he illegally entered, he wasn’t caught, and made his way to North Carolina. In 2019, Rolando was previously apprehended in Arizona and was also deported, only later to illegally reenter through a “parole” exemption.
Some critics argue that deportation doesn’t bring justice for victims and they’d rather have perpetrators be imprisoned or face the death penalty depending on the state where the offense is committed. They also argue “sanctuary” status in U.S. cities and counties should be banned – like that of Wake County, where the deputy was killed.
Wake County is one of the most dangerous “sanctuary communities” in the U.S., according to a recent report, because its law enforcement officers have limited cooperation with ICE.
In 2019, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, introduced a bill allowing “sanctuary communities” to be sued by victims of crimes committed by illegal foreign nationals if local authorities don’t cooperate with ICE. When introducing the bill, Tillis pointed to sheriff’s offices in Durham, Mecklenburg and Wake counties who he said weren’t cooperating with ICE.
By Bethany Blankley | The Center Square contributor