New Bill Needs Some Help To Expel Alien Gang Members—We Provide It

Good news

there`s a bill in Congress to


aliens based on their membership in known

street gangs

Bad news

Congress expects the federal immigration litigation
bureaucracy of the Department of Justice`s notorious
Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)
and federal appeals courts actually to enforce the bill.

"The Alien Gang Removal Act of

H.R. 2933
—introduced in the House of Representatives
on June 16 by J. Randy Forbes (R-VA)—currently has
thirteen cosponsors. [PDF] The bill would seek to deport known
alien gang-bangers

drug cartel
foot-soldiers who are otherwise in the
U.S. legally, with a green card or non-immigrant
visa—even if they have not been convicted of a specific
removable crime under current immigration law.

Hearings on H.R. 2933 will be held
before the

House Judiciary Committee`s

Immigration, Border Security and Claims subcommittee on

Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the
Rayburn House Office Building, room 2141.

H.R. 2933 amends the Immigration
Act to create new grounds of inadmissibility—Section
212(a)(2)(J)(i)—and new grounds of removability—Section
237(a)2)(F)(i)—for aliens who are members of any
informal criminal street gang
, who are also
convicted of a "gang crime," or who are members
of known criminal organization officially designated by
the Secretary of Homeland Security as a criminal gang.

Additionally, illegal alien gang
members, already removable as being present in the U.S.

without inspection
or as

, could also be charged under the
new H.R. 2933 provisions in order to limit their
eligibility for

relief from removal
in Immigration Court.

H.R. 2933 could be an effective
weapon against violent street gangs, hit-men and support
staff for Mexican-based drug cartels—such as the
notorious "Zetas"
(renegade Mexican paramilitary officers now
operating in the U.S.).

Proving criminal charges against

elusive kingpins
and shadowy hit-men from the

drug underworld
is daunting. But the new grounds of
removability and inadmissibility could be used to root
out criminal alien gang members who might not otherwise
be removable. H.R. 2933 includes these aliens
under the

mandatory detention
provisions of Immigration Act
Section 236(c), so this strategy will help stem the tide
of frivolous

immigration litigation
in these cases (although it
will not dry it up completely).

Nevertheless, there is a problem
with H.R. 2933: it still operates within the
litigation-based framework of the EOIR Immigration Court

This means the new H.R. 2933
charges could be immediately shelved as unprovable by
EOIR immigration judges all over the country.

Practically speaking, the new
charges could easily fall into disuse, due to the

inherent difficulty
in proving
membership" for any
particular alien under the "clear and convincing
evidence" standard of
Immigration Act Section 240(c)(3).

A reader
identifies the main problem with the bill recently via

"Most of the
[Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special
Agents] know their stuff regarding all of the

local gangs
their territories, the

the gang signs. And they work with

local law enforcement

too. [But] wh
little gang-banger is going to admit to his
membership in Immigration Court?”

My reader gave an

"…an adjustment of status case in for an
`ex-gang-banger,` or so he claimed. When he was on the
witness stand, the immigration judge could see a little
tattoo on his face, a teardrop. I`ve been told that this

represents that he has
killed someone.

[But when] the
immigration judge questioned him about his gang
affiliation, of course, he claimed that he had quit the
gang and planned to have his tattoos removed.

"The adjustment of status was
granted, of
course, because adjustment is NEVER denied in
Immigration Court!"

Exactly! The
EOIR immigration judges
are the issue. That`s the
elephant in the middle of the room here with H.R. 2933.

The better alternative in dealing
with dangerous gang and drug cartel members would be to
keep these cases away from the EOIR—to make sure
that these aliens get deported and stay deported.

The same categories of gang-bangers
and known criminals identified in H.R. 2933 could be
summarily removed under a framework that already exists
in Immigration Act Section 235(c)(1) and Section

These sections of the immigration
law deal with aliens who are security threats, terrorist
threats and "foreign policy" threats.

So as a public service for

immigration law enforcement
, I`ve analyzed H.R. 2933
as currently constituted. I also suggest some amendments
in order to slam the door on loopholes already built
into the Immigration Act that would allow these classes
of aliens to stay in the U.S. anyhow (regardless of the
new H.R. 2933 grounds of removability).

Immigration law junkies can read
all of the details here.

Another important
issue raised by H.R. 2933: whether

local police departments
across the country will
actually use even existing immigration laws to clean up
their alien gang problems.  

If known criminal
alien gang members aren`t being arrested or turned over
to the DHS already, then whether the aliens are charged
under existing removal grounds or newfangled gang member
grounds won`t matter one bit.

So with or without H.R. 2933, why
not start the ball rolling by detaining and charging the
convicted criminal alien residents and the illegal alien
gang-bangers we already know about under

existing authority

Section 133
of the Immigration Act.

What have we got to lose…except a
few hundred thousand

criminal aliens?

Juan Mann [send him
] is a lawyer and the proprietor of