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Blackburn moves to allow local law enforcement to capture, deport illegal immigrants

Sen. Marsha Blackburn is introducing legislation to empower states and localities to enforce federal immigration law after deaths allegedly at the hands of illegal immigrants.

FIRST ON FOX: Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., is introducing legislation that would give states and local authorities the power to enforce federal immigration law, including helping deport illegal immigrants in the wake of a slew of crimes allegedly committed by illegal immigrants.

Blackburn’s Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal (CLEAR) Act would give explicit authority in statute that states have “the inherent authority of a sovereign entity to investigate, identify, apprehend, arrest, detain, or transfer to Federal custody aliens in the United States (including the transportation of such aliens across State lines to detention centers), for the purposes of assisting in the enforcement of the immigration laws of the United States in the course of carrying out routine duties.”

The bill would also limit certain federal funds to those states and localities that are “sanctuary” jurisdictions and refuse to work with federal law enforcement, similar to a move by the Trump administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) and reversed by the Biden administration.


WHICH CITIES, COUNTIES AND STATES IN THE US ARE ‘SANCTUARY’ JURISDICTIONS?

The bill would also require the Department of Homeland Security to provide the DOJ with information about any illegal immigrant with a final order of removal, a voluntary departure agreement, a visa overstay or a revoked visa.

It would also require states and localities to provide the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with information about the illegal immigrants apprehended in their state. In turn, DHS must provide support to states, including quick custody of illegal immigrants, training, detention space, and grants to help them enforce immigration law. 

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Blackburn highlighted two recent crimes allegedly committed by illegal immigrants as proof of why the bill is needed.

“The recent murders of Laken Riley in Georgia and a 2-year-old in Maryland by illegal immigrants with previous criminal arrests were tragically avoidable, as was the abuse of young boys in Tennessee by an illegal immigrant with a prior record,” Blackburn said in a statement, saying her bill would help protect communities and encourage deportations. 

JOHNSON’S STATE OF THE UNION GUESTS INCLUDE MOTHER OF WOMAN ALLEGEDLY KILLED BY MS-13 GANG MEMBER 

The deaths have increased scrutiny of the ongoing crisis at the southern border, which has already been a top political issue in the country. Both President Biden and former President Trump visited the border on Thursday.

Republicans have blamed the crisis on the administration’s policies, with Blackburn saying President Biden’s “open border policies and refusal to enforce rules on the books have permitted lawlessness across the country.” Republicans in the House recently impeached DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for an alleged dereliction of duty and that now goes to the Senate for a trial.

Biden and Democrats have instead said the border needs more funding from Congress and reforms to fix a “broken” system. Biden on Thursday backed a bipartisan Senate bill which has so far failed to gather enough support.

BIDEN, DURING VISIT TO OVERWHELMED BORDER, URGES REPUBLICANS TO BACK SENATE BILL: ‘TIME TO ACT’ 

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The deal includes $1.4 billion in funding to cities and NGOs receiving migrants, action to tackle fentanyl smuggling and a limit on asylum claims. It would also increase detention beds to 50,000 and provide additional immigration judges. However, conservatives have opposed it, saying it is insufficient to stop the crisis, and that it would normalize high levels of illegal immigration at 5,000 encounters a day. 

Biden has accused the opposition to the bill of giving into politics, and said on Thursday that senators who oppose it “need to set politics aside and pass it on the merits, not on whether it’s going to benefit one party or another party.”

Fox News Digital reached out to the White House and DHS for comment.

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