May 18, 2023
Dear Members of Congress,
Independent Women’s Voice, which fights to enhance people’s freedom, opportunities, and well-being, applauds the U.S. House passage of the POLICE Act of 2023 (H.R. 2494), also referred to as the Protect Our Law Enforcement with Immigration Control and Enforcement Act of 2023, introduced by Representative Andrew Garbarino.
This bill amends Section 237(a)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)) to make assault of a law enforcement officer by an illegal immigrant a deportable offense. Under the bill, an illegal immigrant convicted of this abhorrent crime is subject to immediate deportation, providing much-needed crime prevention and support to law enforcement officers to help ensure that they can continue to serve our communities.
In order to continue to welcome people here legally, while being fair to both immigrants and U.S. citizens, we must put our national interests, including safety and American security, first. Entering the United States unlawfully is a crime, but assaulting an officer after entering unlawfully poses a significant public safety threat.
Assault on a police officer is an assault on public order and safety. Law enforcement officers play an invaluable role in maintaining safety and order for all of us, especially our most vulnerable groups including children in schools, people living in areas facing gang violence, victims of human trafficking, and women confronting domestic violence. To properly respond to emergencies, prevent crime, and save lives, law enforcement officers need the support and remedies necessary to do their jobs. This includes the assurance that violent offenders will be held accountable.
The men and women in public uniform currently face a wide array of challenges. Violent crime in America has risen precipitously over the last three years, wreaking havoc on many of our poorest and most vulnerable neighborhoods. This rise can be largely attributed to the relentless campaign to demonize and hamstring American law enforcement, which has demoralized the men and women who serve in law enforcement, discouraged proactive policing, and emboldened criminals. Not surprisingly, departments and agencies are struggling to recruit and facing unprecedented rates of resignation and retirement.
To curb the violence, policies must address violent crime more effectively,including instances of violence against law enforcement; deliver the resources that police agencies need; and affirm support for the kind of policing that saves lives.
Thank you, Representative Andrew Garbarino, for taking a stand for those who place their lives on the line to protect their fellow citizens. We urge the U.S. Senate to take up this bill with the urgency it deserves.
Hadley Heath Manning
Vice President for Policy
Independent Women’s Voice