House bill tar­gets gangs for de­por­ta­tion

The Mercury News Weekend - - NEWS -

WASH­ING­TON » The House on Thurs­day backed leg­is­la­tion that would make mem­ber­ship in a crim­i­nal gang grounds for de­por­ta­tion as Repub­li­cans warned of the dan­gers of the vi­o­lent street gang MS-13.

The mea­sure passed on a largely party-line vote of 233-175. The White House has en­dorsed the Crim­i­nal Alien Gang Mem­ber Re­moval Act, but it faces un­cer­tain prospects in the Se­nate.

MS-13 has been blamed for 21 deaths in the sub­urbs east of New York City in the past 21 months. The killings, many of which have in­volved teenagers, have caught the at­ten­tion of both President Don­ald Trump and At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions, both of whom have vis­ited Long Is­land in re­cent months to prom­ise fed­eral ac­tion to stem the vi­o­lence.

Pro­po­nents of the House mea­sure de­scribed it as a crit­i­cal tool for law en­force­ment as the bill gives the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity the power to des­ig­nate a group of five or more peo­ple as a crim­i­nal gang. Those im­mi­grants de­ter­mined to have par­tic­i­pated in the gang or have fur­thered its il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity can be de­tained and de­ported.

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