House Republicans introduce bill to speed up illegal-immigrant deportations

Twenty-one House Republicans on Thursday introduced legislation that would require immigration officials to deport illegal immigrants on an expedited basis.

The bill, H.R. 2952, was planned before the Obama administration announced a new policy that focuses on deporting immigrants who pose more of a threat to the U.S., such as those who have committed crimes. But the bill's chief sponsor, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), said it is partly a response to that policy decision, which he called a "blatant disregard for the law" because it would selectively enforce U.S. immigration laws.

"Laws are meant to be followed, and not ignored for convenience or political advantage," Hunter said in late August when he said his bill was pending.

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"If someone is in the U.S. illegally, then that person is subject to deportation under the law, plain and simple," he added. "What the administration is doing is sending a loud message across our borders that we are not serious about enforcing our nation's immigration laws while backdoor channels remain wide open to millions of others."

Hunter's bill would require immigration officers to immediately remove immigrants who have not been continuously present in the U.S. for four years, except in some circumstances, such as when the immigrant has committed a crime or poses a threat to U.S. national security.

It would clarify the authority of officials to order the expeditious removal of criminal immigrants, and limit the ability to grant stays of removal to immigrants who have been ordered to be removed.