Calvert bill aims to ensure federal detainers on illegal immigrants are obeyed

U.S. Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) introduced legislation late last week aimed at preventing illegal immigrants arrested on suspicion of criminal activity from being released from custody.

The Help Ensure Legal Detainers (HELD) Act would require local jurisdictions to abide by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer orders.

The HELD Act also would deny all federal funding, including transportation funding, to any jurisdiction, such as a sanctuary city, that has any law, policy or procedure in place that prevents local law enforcement from holding an illegal immigrant pursuant to an ICE detainer.

“We have a responsibility to protect Americans from illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes in our country,” Calvert said. “After the brutal murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant with a long criminal record, my constituents and families around the country have raised questions about how the federal government can prevent such an event from occurring again. There are a number of complex and challenging immigration-policy matters facing our country. However, facilitating the deportation of illegal immigrants with a serious criminal record is just common sense.”