Dick Durbin Thwarts Bill to Automatically Detain Illegals Charged with Violent Crimes


Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) torpedoed a Republican-sponsored bill on Wednesday that would automatically detain illegal aliens charged with violent crimes.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) had tried to force a floor vote on the bill, which would allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain any illegal charged with a violent crime in an effort to prevent liberal prosecutors from releasing them back into the population after arrest, giving them the chance to go out and commit other crimes, Fox News reported.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) speaks at a news conference on February 29, 2024, in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Ernst requested unanimous consent on Sarah’s Law, a policy that passes a bill without further debate or committee work. During her floor speech, the senator said victims such as Sarah Root and Laken Riley would not have been murdered by illegals if their alleged killers had been held in jail on earlier offenses.

Unanimous consent, though, can be scotched with a single nay vote. And Durbin supplied that no vote in service to illegal aliens.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) holds a poster with photos of murder victims Sarah Root and Laken Riley as she speaks on Capitol Hill, February 27, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

“It would merely require ICE to detain, just to detain, otherwise deportable illegal immigrants charged with killing or seriously injuring another person,” Ernst explained. This, she added, would prevent the suspects from committing other crimes while their earlier case goes through the system.

But Durbin said to automatically detain illegals would “deprive immigrants of the due process that everyone is afforded.”

Durbin did not expound upon how an illegal border crosser should be considered a legal “immigrant” who deserves due process.

Ernst’s bill is named after Sarah Root, who was allegedly murdered at 21 years of age by Edwin Mejia, a man who was in the country illegally. Mejia was released on bond despite the murder charge and then fled the country, avoiding any need to face justice.

The senator noted that an Obama rule from November 2014 spurred ICE to refuse to take Mejia into custody “despite his repeated driving offenses and history of skipping court dates.”

Ernst also pointed out the massive “catch and release” policy that Biden has employed since taking office is undermining our immigration and law enforcement and putting all Americans at risk. The senator pointed to what befell Georgia co-ed Laken Riley, 22, who was found murdered on the campus of the University of Georgia. Her accused killer, Jose Ibarra, had previously been held in federal custody, but was let to walk free.


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