Wednesday, September 12, 2007

CLEAR legislation effort continues, would penalize ‘sanctuary’ cities

Charlie Norwood, the late Georgia congressman, wanted to make it perfectly clear that state and local law enforcement, as well as the federal government, can enforce immigration law. He introduced the Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal Act, called the CLEAR Act, three times. Norwood died in February.

But a Tennessee congresswoman, Marsha Blackburn, is continuing the effort. She has introduced legislation giving state and local law-enforcement officers the clear authority to enforce federal immigration law and investigate, apprehend, detain, transport and remove illegal aliens from the U.S. Her bill, she said, has the support of more than 200 members of the House, including 74 Democrats..

The bill provides for funding to allow local law-enforcement authorities to identify and detain the more than 400,000 illegal aliens in the U.S. who have been ordered deported but who disappeared, 85,000 of whom have criminal records. It also clarifies the authority of state and local law-enforcement officers to assist the federal government in enforcing immigration laws and provides a means for federal, state and local officers to work together to apprehend, detain and remove illegal aliens.

Also under the act, so-called 'sanctuary’ cities, which have enacted laws that shield illegal aliens from federal immigration law, would lose federal funding unless they rescind the policies that prohibit local law-enforcement officials from working with the Department of Homeland Security.

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