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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo (both R-Idaho) joined Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) in introducing the Keep Our Communities Safe Act, legislation that would close the legal loophole that requires immigration authorities to release back into the United States illegal aliens who have not been accepted for deportation to other countries after being detained for six months – a practice also referred to as "catch and release."

“The historic number of encounters at the southern border can in part be attributed to the dangerous ‘catch and release’ loophole that enables violent criminals who are here illegally to disappear into our communities,” said Risch. “Our inability to detain criminal aliens and failure to protect the American people is unacceptable. I’m proud to join my colleague from Oklahoma in introducing this common sense legislation.”

“The fact that this year is on pace to far exceed the record-breaking number of illegal border crossings from last year is alarming and intolerable,” Crapo said. “We must close this loophole and protect national security by enforcing all immigration laws to ensure the safety of American citizens.”

“Our immigration system is broken and President Biden won’t acknowledge the crisis we are facing at the southern border,” Inhofe said. “That’s why my colleagues and I introduced the Keep Our Communities Safe Act this week. This legislation would close the ‘catch-and-release’ loophole, which puts law abiding citizens, local law enforcement officials and communities at risk. Our bill will ensure that illegal aliens who have been found guilty of violent crimes and aggravated felonies are not able to remain in our communities. As the current law stands, an illegal alien with a criminal record is released back into the United States after six months if no other country accepts them for deportation. This bill is a commonsense solution and it’s time for it to become law.”

The Keep Our Communities Safe Act closes the loophole that prevents DHS from detaining non-removable immigrants beyond the current Supreme Court-mandated six months in these specific situations:

  • The alien will be removed in the reasonably foreseeable future;
  • The alien would have been removed but for the alien’s refusal to make all reasonable efforts to comply and cooperate with the Secretary’s efforts to remove him;
  • The alien has a highly contagious disease;
  • Release would have serious adverse foreign policy consequences;
  • Release would threaten national security; or
  • Release would threaten the safety of the community and the alien either is an aggravated felon or has committed a crime of violence.

Additional cosponsors of the Keep Our Communities Safe Act include Senators Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).

Full text of the bill can be found here

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