U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA-01) has introduced the Empowering Law Enforcement Act to provide backup to federal immigration enforcement officials.
“I’ve visited the border four times as a member of Congress, including twice this year, to fully understand the struggles we face there. Immigration is getting out of control and every state is becoming a border state. As of last month more than 1.1 million illegal immigrants have been encountered at the border,” Carter said in an emailed newsletter to his constituents Sunday.
“To help address this crisis, my proposal would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to delegate immigration enforcement authority to state and local law enforcement entities. This would empower those trusted with protecting our communities to investigate, identify, apprehend, arrest, detain or transfer any illegal immigrants into federal custody. With the Biden Administration failing to do its part, we must give state and local enforcement the ability to keep our communities safe.”
Specifically, Carter’s Empowering Law Enforcement Act would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to do the following:
• Delegate immigration enforcement authority to state and local law enforcement entities, including the ability to investigate, identify, apprehend, arrest, detain, or transfer an alien into Federal custody.
• Permit the Secretary of Homeland Security to extend the detention period past the current 180-day timeline for violent criminal aliens.
• Ensure that illegal migrants are detained in federal custody upon state or local law enforcement request.
• Reimburse state or local authorities for related incarceration and transportation costs.
• Promote immigration information sharing between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI for the benefit of state and local law enforcement.
Carter traveled with former U.S. President Donald Trump to the U.S.-Mexico border earlier this summer and said he saw “the opposite of progress.”
The month of May, Carter said, marked a 21-year high of encounters with 180,034 illegal immigrants apprehended. Authorities, he added, have seized enough fentanyl this year to kill every American four times over.
“Cartels are making record profits with $14 million per day alone for human trafficking. Vice President Harris and President Biden have no one to thank but themselves. The presidents of Guatemala and Mexico have both cited their soft talk on immigration as a magnet for migrants,” Carter said.
“Halting construction of the border wall and repealing successful Trump-era policies such as ‘Remain in Mexico’ and weakening the Title 42 public health ruling have only made things worse. This is not just a national security crisis and a humanitarian crisis; it is a national embarrassment. We must put politics aside and come together to make it right.”
Carter visited the U.S.-Mexico border in April and described “a complete and total disaster” that threatens national security. He toured U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services facilities in Brownsville, Donna, and McAllen, Texas.
Carter said at the time that coyotes — people who smuggle illegal immigrants across the U.S. border, typically for a high fee — are successfully diverting attention at the border. Agents thus have to move away from critical border security needs to tend to humanitarian positions for which they have not trained.
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