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Grassley-Backed Bill Seeks to Close ‘Catch and Release’ Loophole

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joined Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) to introduce the Keep Our Communities Safe Act. This legislation seeks to close a legal loophole resulting from the Supreme Court’s decision in the 2001 case Zadvydas v. Davis, which requires immigration authorities to release illegal immigrants back into the U.S. if they have not been accepted for deportation to other countries after being detained for six months.
“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,” Grassley said.
“Our immigration system is broken and President Biden won’t acknowledge the crisis we are facing at the southern border,” Inhofe said. “That’s why my colleagues and I introduced the Keep Our Communities Safe Act this week. This legislation 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.”
The Keep Our Communities Safe Act would close the loophole that prevents the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from detaining non-removable immigrants beyond the current Supreme Court-mandated six months in these specific situations:
  • The illegal immigrant will be removed in the reasonably foreseeable future;
  • The illegal immigrant would have been removed but for their refusal to make all reasonable efforts to comply and cooperate with the secretary’s efforts to remove them;
  • The illegal immigrant 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 illegal immigrant either is an aggravated felon or has committed a crime of violence.
The proposal is also cosponsored by Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), John Kennedy (R-La.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).
Full text of the bill is available HERE.