Rep. Calvert Reintroduces Bill to Prevent Dangerous Criminal Illegal Immigrants from Being Released in our Communities

January 26, 2021
Press Release

Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) announced he has reintroduced legislation aimed at preventing criminal illegal immigrants from being released back in our communities.   The Help Ensure Legal Detainers (HELD) Act, H.R. 453, would require state and localities to adhere to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers.

“When states and localities refuse to turnover illegal immigrants convicted of violent crimes to ICE for deportation they are putting our communities at risk,” said Rep. Calvert. “The HELD Act is rooted in the widespread belief that dangerous and violent criminal illegal immigrants should be given a one-way ticket out of our country. America is a nation of immigrants, but we are a beacon of hope throughout the world because we respect and enforce the rule of law.

The HELD Act would deny all federal funding to any locality that has a law, policy or procedure in place that prevents local law enforcement from maintaining the custody of an alien pursuant to an ICE detainer. Specifically the bill:

Would require local municipalities to promptly respond to an ICE detainer notice issued by the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) that requests information about alien in custody in order for the Secretary to arrange for custody of the alien.

Would require local municipalities to maintain custody of an alien for up to 48 hours pursuant to an immigration Detainer so that the alien can be transferred to the custody of DHS

The HELD Act includes an exception in the bill in cases where counties may have a policy in place that prevents local law enforcement from working with ICE while cities within that county may have no such policy.  In these cases, the flow of federal funding that would normally go through the county would go directly to the city.