September 10, 2018
Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) voted against the Community Safety and Security Act, legislation that expands the definition of “crime of violence” in the criminal code, making it easier for the Department of Homeland Security to deport legal immigrants for crimes that may not be violent or serious, such as fleeing and piracy. Legal permanent residents can already be deported under current law for committing a number of offenses, including aggravated felonies such as murder, rape, drug trafficking, money laundering, or theft.
“This legislation expands the definition of a ‘crime of violence’ to offenses that are generally not violent, like fleeing or piracy. Under existing law, Immigrants who commit violent crimes like murder, rape, and aggravated assault already lose their privilege to be in this country, and are deported. I agree that would should clarify the definition of ‘crime of violence’; however, changing it to include non-violent offenses does not make us safer,” said Rep. Peters.
“In addition, the GOP majority pushed through this legislation through without holding any committee hearings to examine unintended consequences that extend beyond immigration. Congress should return to regular order, allow members to propose amendments, and have robust debate about the serious policy challenges we face.”