In June, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3004, also known as “Kate’s Law,” after Kate Steinle, the victim of a murder committed by an undocumented immigrant. Without a doubt, Kate Steinle’s death was tragic; but Donald Trump is exploiting this tragedy to advance his anti-immigrant agenda.
H.R. 3004 is a xenophobic bill that seeks to incarcerate immigrants.
Playing on the xenophobic myth that a disproportionate share of violent crimes in the U.S. are committed by undocumented immigrants, H.R. 3004 aims to drastically expand incarceration penalties for immigrants who re-enter the country—further criminalizing immigrants seeking to reunite with their families and throwing more people into the prison pipeline, which benefits private prison corporations. The bill seeks to:
- Funnel more immigrants into private prisons. H.R. 3004 would expand the government’s ability to prosecute people trying to reunite with their families and increases the criminal penalties for re-entry. This further criminalizes immigrants, and helps corporate profiteers by driving up already unprecedented numbers in our immigration detention system.
- Penalize refugees and asylum seekers. The bill would vastly expand potential punishments for re-entry, but does NOT provide protections for people who re-enter the U.S. for humanitarian reasons or who are seeking protection. This places asylum seekers at risk of criminalization and incarceration.
- Strip immigrants of due process protections. H.R. 3004 would limit the ability of immigrants to appeal previous orders of deportation, even those issued in error or through government fault. This also means people unlawfully deprived of their right to seek asylum would now be prosecuted for unlawful re-entry upon their repeated attempt to seek safety.
What can you do to stop this anti-immigrant bill?
This dangerous bill has already been received in the Senate and will likely come up for a vote later this year. No matter which party your Senator belongs to, s/he needs to hear from you—one Democratic Senator has already signaled support for the bill.
Call your Senators and tell them to oppose H.R.3004 if it comes for a vote in the Senate, and to oppose any bill that criminalizes immigrants, puts asylum seekers at risk of incarceration, and hurts families while benefiting private prison corporations.