Sarah’s Law requires ICE to take custody of illegal immigrants charged with a serious crime
Jan 05 2017
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran today joined U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) as an original cosponsor of Sarah’s Law. The legislation is named in honor of Sarah Root, a young woman who was killed nearly one year ago by a drunk driver in the country illegally.
“The failure to fix America’s broken immigration system puts lives at risk and justice out of reach,” Sen. Moran said. “Sarah’s Law has the potential to reduce crime and save lives. This legislation would require the federal government to better prioritize its responses to individuals charged with violent crimes while in this country illegally – correcting current policies that leave unchecked criminals free to reoffend. I am glad to join this effort to keep our communities safe and will push for the bill’s passage in the 115th Congress.”
- Sarah’s Law is named for Sarah Root, a 21-year-old woman who was struck and killed in traffic by Edwin Mejia, who entered the country illegally and was driving drunk – three times over the legal limit – and drag racing.
- Following state criminal charges of motor vehicle homicide and outreach by local law enforcement, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) declined to use its discretion to issue a detainer, and Mejia subsequently posted bond and has since disappeared. Now, nearly one year later, Mejia still remains at-large.
- Sarah’s Law would amend the mandatory detention provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act to require the federal government to take custody of anyone who entered the country illegally, violated the terms of their immigration status, or had their visa revoked and is thereafter charged with a crime resulting in the death or serious bodily injury of another person. The legislation also requires ICE to make reasonable efforts to identify and provide relevant information to the crime victims or their families.
- Under this law, Mejia would have been detained, not been allowed to flee from justice, and the Root family would be kept up-to-date on Mejia’s status and federal immigration authorities’ efforts to remove him from the United States.