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Rep. Pitts Signs on to Legislation Aimed at Removing Criminal Illegal Aliens from Our Streets

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Pitts Signs on to Legislation Aimed at Removing Criminal Illegal Aliens from Our Streets

H.R. 5761 aims to increase repatriation of criminal illegal aliens

Congressman Joe Pitts (R, PA-16) signed on as a cosponsor to legislation that would sanction countries that refuse to repatriate criminals who have finished serving out their jail sentence here in the United States. The Accountability in Immigrant Repatriation Act, H.R. 5761, would improve our immigration enforcement system by sanctioning countries that refuse to repatriate criminals and those under a final order of removal.

The bill would require reports to Congress every 90 days on the countries that inhibit repatriation. Receipt of this report would automatically trigger denial of foreign aid as well as suspension of visa issuances to the listed countries. The President would be given the option of coming to Congress to request a waiver for the sanctions if doing so is deemed to be in our national interests.

Congressman Pitts' statement follows:

"Individuals who are here in the United States illegally and have committed crimes have no business on our streets. We should be using the full extent of our diplomatic options in order to get these people out of the United States and back to their home country."


As of February 2008, eight countries were refusing to repatriate a total of over 139,000 aliens. More than 18,000 of them are convicted criminals who have been released back onto American streets.

Under current law, these countries have no incentive to accept their criminal aliens and U.S. courts have ruled that our government cannot legally hold such individuals in custody for longer than six months following their sentences of imprisonment. As a result, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials have no choice but to release criminal aliens in the U.S. In one example, the U.S. government spent $197,680 to fly a criminal alien convicted of assault back to his home country of Somalia, only to be denied repatriation and ultimately released back onto our streets.

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