Dick Durbin blocks bill requiring illegal immigrants charged with violent crimes be arrested by ICE

Durbin said it would "deprive immigrants of the due process that everyone is afforded."

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA

On Wednesday, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) attempted to bring a vote to the floor that would require Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) to detain illegal immigrants who have committed violent crimes.

Despite receiving a unanimous consent request, Ernst's effort to prevent avoidable attacks at the hands of illegal immigrants was thwarted by Democrat Majority Whip Dick Durbin (IL) who rejected the request.

Ernst requested unanimous bipartisan consent to bring her bill Sarah's Law to the floor for a vote. The senator created the legislation in response to the death of 21-year-old Sarah Root who was killed by Edwin Meija in 2016, an illegal immigrant and repeat criminal offender who had been street racing while drunk, an incident that Ernst said could have been avoided.

The Republican senator too to the Senate floor to speak on the bill also mentioned the tragic recent death of Laken Riley, 22. Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, has been charged with murder in connection with the case and is an illegal immigrant from Venezuela with prior criminal history.

Despite Ernst bringing up the tragedies, Durbin struck down the vote on claims that the legislation would "deprive immigrants of the due process that everyone is afforded."

Ernst explained that the legislation "would merely require ICE to detain, just to detain, otherwise deportable illegal immigrants charged with killing or seriously injuring another person."

The Iowa senator said that the bill would combat the Democrats' controversial catch-and-release policies to bring more security to the country.

While pitching the bill, Ernst told her colleagues that Mejia was able to post bond and escape court proceedings.

"Citing the Obama administration’s November 2014 memo on immigration enforcement priorities, ICE declined to take custody of Mejia, despite his repeated driving offenses and history of skipping court dates," Ernst explained.

Additionally, Sen. Ernst said that Laken Riley's life could have been saved if her legislation had been in place. Ibarra had been arrested in New York City on child endangerment charges a few months prior to Riley's death, but he was released by a progressive Manhattan judge.

"The reality is Laken's heartbreaking story did not have to happen," said Ernst, warning that these avoidable incidents are "doomed to be repeated" if new policies aren't put into place.

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