The Democrats have introduced a bill aimed at providing special protection for any illegal immigrants who are considered “vulnerable.”
This bill safeguards illegal immigrants from long-term detention if they identify as LGBTQ or qualify as other protected classes.
This week, Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) introduced the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act.
If passed, the proposed legislation would hinder Border Patrol agents from detaining specific “vulnerable populations.” The bill offers protection to any illegal immigrant who self-identifies as “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or intersex.”
Additionally, the bill provides targeted protections to several groups including anyone under 21 or over 60 years old, pregnant women, asylum seekers, survivors of torture or gender-based violence, those undergoing “severe trauma,” individuals fearing persecution, and illegal aliens with “limited English language proficiency.”
Upon the arrest, the Department of Homeland Security is required to either detain or release them on bond within 48 hours.
However, the bill would have a “special rule for vulnerable persons and primary caregivers” that would force DHS to release protected illegal immigrants. The Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act declares that illegal aliens “may not be detained” unless the DHS can demonstrate that it is “unreasonable or not practicable to place the alien in a community-based supervision program.”
As reported by Fox News:
For example, officials would have to decide within 48 hours whether to detain an alien and could only detain them after a determination that “the release of an alien will not reasonably ensure the appearance of the alien as required or will endanger the safety” of others.
In those cases, DHS “shall impose the least restrictive conditions” for detention, and ensure they get a custody hearing within 72 hours. And in those hearings, “there shall be a presumption that the alien should be released,” the bill said.
According to Congresswoman Jayapal, the bill would “go a long way to restore humanity and dignity to the immigration system.”
“There’s no question that our immigration system is broken,” Jayapal said in a statement. “The Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act urgently reforms the alarming injustices of a broken, for-profit immigration detention system by ending the use of private detention facilities altogether, repealing mandatory detention, and prohibiting family detention while also restoring due process and increasing oversight, accountability, and transparency measures.”
Sen. Cory Booker added: “Our immigration system has allowed for the unjust treatment of immigrants and stripped them of their humanity and due process. We must respect and protect the basic rights of immigrants detained in the United States. I am proud to reintroduce this bill that would ensure our immigration system aligns with our country’s core values.”
The Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act has been sponsored by dozens of House Democrats and seven Senate Democrats.
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