Senate Judiciary Committee members press Homeland Security on enforcement priorities

US Department of Homeland SecurityFrom Press Release


Senate Judiciary Committee members are pressing Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on the department’s enforcement priorities which are, “Contrary to law and pose(s) direct threats to public safety,” the senators wrote in a letter to Johnson.

The members wrote about the deaths of Kathryn Steinle and Angelica Martinez who were killed by illegal immigrants residing in sanctuary cities where local officials don’t cooperate with federal immigration representatives.

“Rather than enhance the successful Secure Communities program, confront sanctuary jurisdictions, defend federal law enforcement’s legitimate use of detainers, request additional resources, or ask Congress for a legislative solution, your Department has unilaterally designed a program that will endanger the American people,” the members wrote to Johnson.

The members pointed out the disparity between the enforcement priorities the department claims to be making and the reality of the department’s actions and its new “Priority Enforcement Program” where criminals of all sorts are not being detained and instead being released into communities across the country.

Grassley has been conducting oversight of the administration’s release of individuals who illegally entered the United States and who have subsequently committed other crimes.  Reports show that many of these people are going on to commit new crimes that could have been avoided if they were deported after their initial prison sentence.

The letter to Johnson was sent by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest Chairman and co-Chairman Jeff Sessions and David Vitter, and senators David Perdue, John Cornyn, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Thom Tillis and Orrin Hatch.

A signed copy can be found here.