Immigration officers could possibly find themselves equipped with body armor, assault rifles, and Tasers, the Intercept reports. New legislation, in the form of three bills introduced by Republican lawmakers, seeks to increase the authority of immigration officers, upgrade the punishment for immigration violations, and potentially strip DACA recipients of the protections they currently have.
The proposed bills would radically change how immigration officers interact with the undocumented population.
The Intercept reports that one of the bills, known as the “Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act,” would transform immigration violations from civil infractions into criminal violations, which could carry a 20-year prison sentence. DACA recipients could find themselves targets, thanks to wording in the bills. The Intercept reports that New York Representative Jerrold Nadler said the bill would “turn millions of Americans into criminals overnight.”
In addition to these changes, the Davis-Oliver bill calls for an increase in immigration officers, including 10,000 new agents, 2,500 additional detention officers, and 60 additional ICE prosecutors. As mentioned earlier, officers would receive a boost in arms and protection, as well as the authority to detain and arrest immigrants without a warrant.
As the Daily Beast reported, private prisons stand to get rich from crackdowns on immigration.
As The Daily Beast reported, companies such as GEO Group, which donated hundreds of thousands to Donald Trump’s campaign, are building prisons that have the potential to earn millions of dollars in revenue each year. These privately owned prisons are vying for contracts to fill up their facilities, and in turn, this could incentivize developing legislation that targets the undocumented population.
For the full story on the three proposed bills and how they will affect immigration check out The Intercept.
[MORE] The Intercept: REPUBLICAN IMMIGRATION BILL THREATENS TO TURN MILLIONS OF PEOPLE INTO CRIMINALS OVERNIGHT