Proposed Bill Would Allow DHS to Indefinitely Detain Immigrants

A new bill, just filed by Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), proposes to give the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the authority to indefinitely detain immigrants. If passed, H.R. 1932, the Keep Our Communities Safe Act, would give DHS the power to detain and hold as long as it deems necessary certain “dangerous” immigrants who are under orders of removal but cannot be deported. The bill, which is co-sponsored by Jeff Miller (R-FL) and Dennis Ross (R-FL) would do the following, among other things:

(1) Remove key portions of two Supreme Court Decisions that stated an immigrant cannot be detained for a period over six months, even in cases in which the person cannot be deported.

(2) Give DHS the ability to detain immigrants for a range of offenses, including writing a bad check.

(3) Give DHS the ability to detain an immigrant for years without having to conduct a bond hearing in front of an immigration judge.

Detractors of the bill comment that, if the bill is passed, it will be challenged.