The humanitarian and public health crisis on the southern border continues to devolve, in part due to the open border policies President Biden immediately instituted via executive order, including “catch and release” — a policy that allows illegal immigrants to be released back into the community rather than being detained before their court hearing.
Today, Rep. Feenstra announced 17 additional cosponsors have signed on to Sarah’s Law, a commonsense proposal that would require immigration authorities to keep illegal immigrants in custody if they are accused of killing someone or inflicting serious bodily injury. Feenstra announced in early March that he was partnering with Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) to introduce this legislation in the House. The measure now has a total of 30 cosponsors in the House.
“It is now more important than ever that we implement safe immigration laws that protect the American people,” said Rep. Feenstra. “Sarah’s Law is a commonsense measure that will close loopholes, and it is a step in the right direction as we work to fix our broken immigration system. It’s simple: Illegal immigrants accused of committing violent and reckless crimes should be detained so they can be prosecuted and held accountable.”
Sarah’s Law is named after Sarah Root, an Iowan who was tragically struck and killed by an illegal immigrant on the night of her college graduation. Edwin Mejia, the illegal immigrant charged in this case, was under the influence of alcohol — three times the legal limit — and drag racing when Sarah was killed. Mejia was charged with felony motor-vehicle homicide, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and faced up to 20 years in prison, however his bond was set at only $5,000 by a local judge. Due to an Obama-era policy loophole, he posted bond and was released. He has since disappeared and still has not been brought to justice nearly five years after Sarah’s death.
Sarah’s Law would amend the mandatory detention provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to require the detention of anyone unlawfully present in the U.S. who is charged with a crime resulting in the death or serious bodily injury.