Democrats reintroduced a bill that will make it harder to detain illegal immigrants if they qualify as a “vulnerable person,” such as those who identify as members of the LGBT community.
Rep. Jamila Jayapal (D-WA) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) reintroduced the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act. The bill was first introduced by Jayapal and Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) in 2017.
According to Fox News, the proposed legislation would prevent Border Patrol agents from arresting “vulnerable populations.” It would protect any illegal migrant that identifies as LGBT.
The bill would provide special protections to anyone under the age of 21 or older than 60, asylum seekers, pregnant women, survivors of torture of gender-based violence, those experiencing “severe trauma,” individuals fearing persecution, and illegal immigrants with a lack of proficiency in the English language.
Under the legislation, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has two days to detain arrested illegal migrants or release them on bond. The bill, however, would grant a “special rule for vulnerable persons” and “primary caregivers,” forcing the DHS to release protected illegal immigrants.
The bill declares that illegal aliens “may not be detained” unless the DHS can demonstrate that it is “unreasonable or not practicable to place the alien in a community-based supervision program.”
Democrats supporting the bill argue it’s needed to restore the dignity of illegal immigrants detained after trying to enter the U.S.
“There’s no question that our immigration system is broken,” Jayapal said.
“The Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act urgently reforms the alarming injustices of a broken, for-profit immigration detention system by ending the use of private detention facilities altogether, repealing mandatory detention, and prohibiting family detention while also restoring due process and increasing oversight, accountability, and transparency measures,” she added.
“Our immigration system has allowed for the unjust treatment of immigrants and stripped them of their humanity and due process. We must respect and protect the basic rights of immigrants detained in the United States. I am proud to reintroduce this bill that would ensure our immigration system aligns with our country’s core values,” Booker added.
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) April 20, 2023
The legislation received support from dozens of House Democrats, including House Majority Whip Katherine Clark (D-MA) and seven Senate Democrats.