WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-Ala.) today spoke in support of H.R. 3697, the Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act, and said Congress’ first priority must be to keep Americans safe.
H.R. 3697 would combat criminal alien gang violence by amending existing law to make a person’s history of involvement in a criminal gang grounds for inadmissibility into the United States and allow law enforcement agents to automatically detain and deport anyone found to be a criminal alien gang member.
“Gangs of criminal aliens are terrorizing American communities, and it is our responsibility to do something about it,” Roby said. “Our first priority must be to keep Americans safe. Our laws and policies should reflect our commitment to this responsibility.”
Roby serves on the Judiciary Committee, which this year has prioritized working with the Trump Administration to crack down on illegal immigration. The House has previously passed measures to defund sanctuary cities, increase penalties for illegal immigrants who commit violent crimes, and begin construction of a border wall.
H.R. 3697 is scheduled to be voted on by the House later this week.
The full text of Rep. Roby’s remarks as prepared is below.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of this rule and the underlying legislation, H.R. 3697, the Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act.
I want to thank Chairman Goodlatte and my fellow Judiciary Committee colleagues for prioritizing cracking down on illegal immigration on the Committee this year.
All the time I hear from constituents who are frustrated by this country’s unwillingness to address our illegal immigration problem. They are also fed up with hearing politicians promise to do something about it, only to offer excuses later.
Mr. Speaker I believe this Congress and this Administration have shown over the last nine months that we are willing to do something about illegal immigration, and this legislation is a great example of our commitment to addressing this problem.
When it comes to cracking down on illegal immigration, I believe most of us agree that we should start by targeting the dangerous criminals who put Americans at risk.
H.R. 3697 is a commonsense measure that does just that by amending existing law to combat gang violence by criminal aliens.
Many Americans may hear this and wonder, “what gang violence?”
The most notorious Latin American gang is known as MS-13, which began in the 1980s and has grown to an estimated 8,000 members in the United States. They have a violent history of organized crime in the areas of drug trafficking, kidnapping, human smuggling, sex trafficking, murder, assassinations, blackmail, and extortion.
To give you an idea of just how violent MS-13 is, the English translation of their motto is “Kill, Steal, Rape, Control.”
Mr. Speaker, gangs of criminal aliens are terrorizing American communities, and it is our responsibility to do something about it.
H.R. 3697 will amend the law to finally make a person’s history of involvement in a criminal gang grounds for inadmissibility into this country. That means involvement in drugs, sex trafficking, kidnapping, murder, or any of the other awful crimes spelled out in the law.
This bill would also allow law enforcement agents to automatically detain and deport anyone found to be a criminal alien gang member.
Our first priority must be to keep Americans safe. Our laws and policies should reflect our commitment to this responsibility.
H.R. 3697 makes it crystal clear that criminal alien gang members are not welcome in this country, and if they should find themselves here, we are dedicated to getting them off the street.
Thank you, and I yield back.