Today, the House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on “Interior Immigration Enforcement Legislation,” where they will be bringing back an extremist piece of legislation from 2013: the SAFE Act.
As if Republicans weren’t making it clear how anti-immigrant they are, with their three votes last week against DACA/DAPA. When the SAFE Act passed out of the House Judiciary Committee in 2013, we called it the “mother of all anti-immigrant bills,” and there’s good reason why. Here are just a few of the things the SAFE Act does:
- Grants states and localities the authority to implement their own policies toward undocumented immigrants, SB 1070-style
- Forces local law enforcement officials to act as immigration agents
- Eliminates DACA and DAPA (policies related to reviewing immigration cases)
- Prohibits states and localities from limiting cooperation with ICE holds — the opposite of the trend that developed last year
- Criminalizes all undocumented immigrants
- Authorizes the indefinite detention of all immigrants who have been ordered removed
- Criminalizes Good Samaritans — anyone who transports or harbors an immigrant
It’s pretty bad stuff. With President Obama still in office, the SAFE Act will never become law — and there’s no indication so far that Republicans are bringing it back to the legislative docket. But it’s not a good sign that the SAFE Act is in the news again for the first time since 2013.
For more about the SAFE Act, view this backgrounder from the National Immigration Law Center.
Finally, watch this video we produced with Cuentame on the SAFE Act in 2013: