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ICYMI: Elise Foley: “New Republican Bills Would Ramp Up A Trump Deportation Force”

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On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to mark up multiple draconian immigration bills aimed at ramping up President Trump’s cruel and costly deportation force. In her latest piece for HuffPost, titled, “New Republican Bills Would Ramp Up A Trump Deportation Force,” Elise Foley describes what’s at stake with tomorrow’s markup. We excerpt the piece below, which can be read in its entirety here.

“House Republicans are moving forward this week with an attempt to make President Donald Trump’s promised “deportation force” even bigger and, potentially, more heavily armed.

The House Judiciary Committee is set to mark up multiple immigration bills on Thursday, including one from committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) that would facilitate mass deportations. Borrowing from past legislation to bolster Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the bill would require Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation officers to have access to not just standard-issue handguns and stun guns, but also M-4 rifles or equivalents.

The little-noticed legislation is one of four immigration-related bills that the Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider, two of them specifically focused on ICE, the third on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the fourth on human trafficking. If passed, they would give the Trump administration more resources to deport immigrants and make it easier to do so.

‘As a package, the House Judiciary bills would turbocharge Trump’s mass deportation agenda,’ Frank Sharry, head of pro-immigration group America’s Voice, said in an email. ‘It seems Goodlatte and fellow Republicans want to go down in history as the Congress that aided and abetted one of America’s darkest chapters.’

Goodlatte’s ICE authorization bill would add 10,000 officers focused on deportation, 2,500 in detention, and 60 trial attorneys. It would authorize officers to make arrests without a warrant if they had reasonable grounds to believe the person had committed a felony, and would allow ICE to arrest people for civil offenses without a warrant, even if they are not considered ‘likely to escape before a warrant can be obtained,’ which is the case under current law.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) expressed frustration on Monday that bills were being marked up so quickly after their introduction, which he said indicated Republicans were ‘not serious about building consensus or crafting, debating, and passing thoughtful legislation.’

‘This is about brandishing their swords and using the immigration issue as a political weapon, which is frankly pretty much what I have come to expect from Judiciary Republicans these days,’ Gutierrez told HuffPost in a statement.

To read Foley’s piece in its entirety, click here.