Democrats have introduced a bill that provides special protections for any illegal immigrants who are considered "vulnerable." The bill protects illegal immigrants from being detained long-term if they identify as LGBTQ or qualify as other protected classes.
The Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act was introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) this week.
The proposed legislation would hinder Border Patrol agents from detaining certain "vulnerable populations." The bill would protect any illegal alien who "identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or intersex," according to Fox News. The bill would also give special protections to anyone under the age of 21 or older than 60, pregnant women, asylum seekers, survivors of torture or gender-based violence, those experiencing "severe trauma," individuals fearing persecution, and illegal aliens with "limited English language proficiency."
The Department of Homeland Security has 48 hours to detain arrested illegal aliens or release them on bond. However, the bill would have a "special rule for vulnerable persons and primary caregivers" that would force DHS to release protected illegal immigrants. The Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act 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."
Fox News noted:
For example, officials would have to decide within 48 hours whether to detain an alien, and could only detain them after a determination that "the release of an alien will not reasonably ensure the appearance of the alien as required or will endanger the safety" of others. In those cases, DHS "shall impose the least restrictive conditions" for detention, and ensure they get a custody hearing within 72 hours. And in those hearings, "there shall be a presumption that the alien should be released," the bill said.
Congresswoman Jayapal said the bill would "go a long way to restore humanity and dignity to the immigration system."
"There’s no question that our immigration system is broken," Jayapal said in a statement. "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."
Sen. Booker 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."
The Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act has been sponsored by dozens of House Democrats and seven Senate Democrats.
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