Congressman Tim Ryan's amendment to restrict immigrant visas for Brazilian nationals and citizens passed the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee earlier today, which would put a moratorium on processing any additional visas for Brazilian citizens. Because Brazil has a policy of refusing to extradite Brazilian nationals who commit crimes in the United States, this legal loophole allows Brazilian nationals to commit crimes in the United States and flee to Brazil thereby jeopardizing U.S. homeland security.
On March 15th, 2007, U.S. Air Force Reserve Major Karl Hoerig, a veteran with nearly 200 combat missions over Iraq and Afghanistan, was found fatally shot in his home in Newton Falls, OH. The primary suspect, who has been charged with murder, is Claudia Hoerig, his wife at the time and a Brazilian national. Claudia Hoerig has remained free from justice since 2007, avoiding trial by taking advantage of a provision in the Brazilian constitution that bans extradition of any Brazilian citizen.
"I will not be deterred from bringing Claudia Hoerig back to the United States to stand trial for the murder of Major Karl Hoerig," said Congressman Ryan. "We must never accept a situation that allows individuals to come to our country and commit crimes, then flee to Brazil with immunity. Major Hoerig's killer must be returned to the United States to stand trial and we must send a message to Brazil that their conduct won't be tolerated. This is only going to get more painful for Government of Brazil until Claudia Hoerig is extradited.
This amendment--which was adopted by voice vote--restricts U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) funds from being used to approve citizen-sponsored (I-130) petitions, employee-sponsored (I-140), and any other immigrant visa petition subject to USCIS approval submitted by or for a Brazilian national or citizen.