Media Center

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed the Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act (H.R. 3697). Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., voted for the legislation to bar foreign nationals with gang ties from entering the United States and to speed deportation of illegal alien gang members.

            The bill would ensure no suspected or confirmed gang member receive refugee or special immigration status to enter the U.S.  It would make membership in a gang, as designated by the Department of Homeland Security, a deportable offense.

            Currently, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) must wait for a criminal conviction to deport a foreign gang member. “The primary duty of the federal government is to keep our citizens safe,” said Rep. DesJarlais (TN-04). “In order to protect Americans from violent foreign gang members, we must provide ICE with the tools they need to detain and remove them.

            “We cannot tolerate foreign nationals victimizing and intimidating innocent Americans.”

            In the fiscal year 2017, the Trump Administration has deported more criminal gang members than in all of the previous fiscal year. President Trump is targeting the especially violent Central American gang MS-13 with thousands of members across the country.  

            Earlier this year, Rep. DesJarlais voted for Kate’s Law to increase penalties on deported illegal aliens who return to the U.S. and to defund sanctuary cities that harbor illegal aliens. He condemned Nashville’s proposed sanctuary city law, which failed in his home state. “Sanctuary cities encourage illegal immigration, narcotics trafficking, as well as deadly gangs that smuggle drugs and human beings,” he said.  

            “House Republicans and the President are keeping our promises. It’s time for the Senate to pass overdue legislation to keep Americans safe.”