WASHINGTON - 9th District Congressman Tom Graves is co-sponsoring a bill designed to empower local law enforcement agencies to better enforce immigration laws.
The Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal Act, or CLEAR Act, would give state and local law enforcement the ability to identify and detain illegal immigrants during the normal course of their duties.
"This is a critical step toward securing our borders. The CLEAR Act is a common sense approach to immigration reform. It's important for states and localities to have the ability to identify and detain illegal immigrants in their communities," Graves said. "The CLEAR Act simply gives police and sheriffs' departments a choice to be more involved in immigration enforcement and to have greater cooperation with federal authorities.
The bill does the following, according to Graves:
· Affirms state and local law enforcement official's authority to enforce immigration law, including the ability to detain illegal immigrants
· Denies funds to "sanctuary cities" that refuse to partner or cooperate with the Federal government on immigration enforcement
· Lists immigration violators in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database, which every cop has access to in his squad car
· Demands that DHS take custody or make arrangements to take custody of detained criminal aliens within 48 hours
· Provides DHS Immigration Enforcement Training for state and local law enforcement
· Expands the Institutional Removal Program (IRP) which helps remove criminal aliens in the penal system that have been arrested already, and aren t released back onto the street after they serve their time