Congress Passed A Bill To Deport Suspected 'Gang' Members - There's Just One Problem

Authored by Sarah Cronin via,

Last week the House passed a bill to expand the government’s ability to deport immigrants on the basis of alleged gang affiliation. 

Promoted by Republicans as a way to target members of gangs such as the transnational M13 gang, H.R. 3697, the “Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act,” amends the Immigration and Nationality Act by adding gang affiliation to the list of criminal offenses that qualify as grounds for detention and deportation.

The bill passed 233 – 175 with almost unanimous Republican support and now must gain approval in the Senate, where it is currently pending in the Committee on the Judiciary. While the bill still has yet to come to a vote in Senate, it has already gained the presidential nod of approval. Shortly following the bill’s passage, the White House Press Secretary published a statement applauding Congress’ decision, and the administration already affirmed that “If H.R. 3697 were presented to the president in its current form, his advisors would recommend that he sign the bill into law,” according to a  statement of administrative policy published last Tuesday.

The bill has received strong criticism from House Democrats and organizations such as the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who claim the bill provides the government with sweeping discretion to detain and deport immigrants using a broad and arbitrary label.

The bulk of the debate on the bill revolves around how it defines ‘gangs.’ The bill defines a gang as any group of five or more people that has as one of its primary purposes the commission of one or more specified criminal offenses. The bill goes on to expand on these ‘criminal offenses’ to include felony drug offenses, which would include the possession of marijuana. It also explicitly names the ‘harboring’ of undocumented immigrants as a crime.

This means, theoretically, that any organization that helps, shelters, or hires undocumented immigrants could be considered a gang, and thus any immigrant member of such group could theoretically be detained or deported as a gang member.

The National Immigrant Justice Center’s recent policy report explains: 

For example, the government could attempt to designate a church group that elects to offer shelter to an undocumented immigrant as a gang. Similarly, a fraternity whose members use expired identification documents to purchase liquor or engage in initiation rites or a Fortune 500 company that employs workers who may or may not have irregular documents could also fall under this definition.

The government already has a history of liberally applying the ‘gang’ label. Just ask the Juggalos, a fan group of the Insane Clown Posse. They took to the streets Saturday to protest the FBI’s designation of their group as a gang in the bureau’s National Gang Threat Assessment report back in 2011. The fans and the band have been fighting to clear their name ever since. The issue even ended up in court last year when the Clown Posse sued the FBI for withholding documentation about the gang classification of their fans.

In a revealing profile about the group, Vox writer Dylan Matthews explained that the parallel would be to criminalize someone for being a “Belieber”(Justin Bieber fan) or a “Swiftie” (Taylor Swift fan). While perhaps ridiculous in theory, the classification has had serious consequences for group members, causing some fans to lose their jobs and, in some cases, their parental rights because of their affiliation with the so-called ‘gang.’

In the case of H.R. 3697, the consequences of alleged gang affiliation would be much more dire — as in no-bond mandatory detention.

Mandatory detention refers to a provision of the INA that states that non-citizens with certain criminal convictions must be detained by ICE. People who are subject to mandatory detention are not entitled to a bond hearing and must remain in detention while removal proceedings are pending against them,” explains a policy handout by the Immigrant Law Research Center.

H.R. 3697 would expand the terms of mandatory detention, which the ACLU considers a clear violation of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. It also transfers the discretion of determining bond eligibility from the Attorney General to the Secretary of Homeland Security.

[The bill] grants the Department of Homeland Security massive discretion to designate a group of people as a ‘criminal gang,’ based on secret evidence, and without meaningful judicial review,” the ACLU writes in their vote recommendation and analysis of the bill.

While the practice may appear unconstitutional, it wouldn’t be the first time the government has sanctioned detention without trial. During the War on Terror era, the government adopted the practice of ‘indefinite detention’ whereby suspected terrorists can be held without charge or trial. Despite facing challenges in Congress and in the courts, indefinite detention was signed into law as a provision of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, where it remains in legal standing today.

In the same way the War on Terror became a catch-all justification for constitutionally questionable policies, it seems that the vaguely defined threat of immigration and ‘criminal aliens’ will be this administration’s keyword for getting around civil liberties.


IH8OBAMA Xredsx Sat, 09/23/2017 - 20:01 Permalink

What is a Clown Posse?  Is that something Sheriff Joe has formed with a bunch of people who dress up as clowns to catch criminals on the loose?  Or is it the clowns that the Posse is looking for?Or did Sarah misspell the French word - Pusse?  Of course, that would bring up another whole set of questions.

In reply to by Xredsx

garcam123 PoliticalRefug… Sat, 09/23/2017 - 18:22 Permalink

Best news I've heard all month!The Democraps are a criminal gang, aren't they?  Fuck, they live and operate right there in your Capital Shitty! and there's theRepublitillians, they're a bunch of criminal cocksuckers too, they're right next fucking DOOR!Get those defenders of stupid from Missouri to come and arrest them!   Do some good for a change!Hey Missouri..............DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!Stupid fucks! 

In reply to by PoliticalRefug…

Chupacabra-322 Sat, 09/23/2017 - 16:52 Permalink

"The bill defines a gang as any group of five or more people that has as one of its primary purposes the commission of one or more specified criminal offenses."

Look no further than the Gang of Criminals who's Syndicate is based out of D.C.

THE District of Criminals.

GreatUncle Chupacabra-322 Sat, 09/23/2017 - 17:13 Permalink

All governments once they no longer represent their populations become only crime syndicates.Hey! (UK) Reckon my government is more criminal than yours.Can we have a casino gambling of bits of FIAT paper on which are more criminal.Then we can short or long the most upcoming criminal and the one with the most obvious flaws in their criminality.Hey top 10 criminal government gangs in the world? I wonder who would be top?

In reply to by Chupacabra-322

Kyddyl Sat, 09/23/2017 - 16:57 Permalink

So, much of my familly came from Prussia in the 1700's and they're still pretty clannish. Can I be be deported and how soon? My bags are packed...

The Count Sat, 09/23/2017 - 17:02 Permalink

What people do no understand is that the powers that be have no interest to make the world crime-free. They profit directly and indirectly in many ways. You really think the US could not have gotten rid of the mafia decades ago if they really wanted.....? Drug and weapons trade, money laundering, offshore banking, etc etc. All profit centers in their own right.

historian40 The Count Sat, 09/23/2017 - 17:09 Permalink

The Jewish mafia has been running the US for over a century.  We see this picture of the Italian mafia in the empire-produced media, but rarely even hear of the other.  How many times will the US regime have to get caught selling weapons, training terrorists, smuggling drugs(all "mafia" activities), before we realize what the "mafia" really is.

In reply to by The Count

Bananamerican Sat, 09/23/2017 - 17:01 Permalink

"any organization that helps, shelters, or hires undocumented immigrants could be considered a gang, and thus any immigrant member of such group could theoretically be detained or deported" Bring it!

OverTheHedge Bananamerican Sat, 09/23/2017 - 17:34 Permalink

Unlike Obama, I am not a constitutional scholar, not am I a US citizen. However, would I be right in asking if constitutional laws apply to non-citizens? Doesn't the US Constitution spend a lot of time and effort examining what rights are reserved for the citizens, and which powers the government can have? Should it be applied worldwide, to any individual belonging to any country? And if you treat someone as a citizen, does that not suggest that they have citizenship?All baffling legal questions, with complex, expensive legal answers, I'm sure. Men in suits doing what is best for poor, ignorant farm workers. Thank God we have a system that works for the common man.

In reply to by Bananamerican

BrownCoat OverTheHedge Sat, 09/23/2017 - 18:26 Permalink

Like the liar Obama, I'm not a Constitutional scholar either. Since the Declaration of Independence said "all men" and "endowed by their Creator," I kinda think citizenship is not considered. The First Amendment does say "the right of the people peaceably to assemble." So gang affiliation would violate the intent.Unfortunately, the ink wasn't dry on the Constitution before it started being interpreted by criminal sociopaths (aka politicians). What is politically incorrect today could very well be a crime!! For example, hate crimes seem to only be applied to non-minorities. As you know, this country is no longer governed by "rule of law." They pretend, use double standards, and do a lot of head faking. It is likely that most people reading this comment have been a victim of criminal activity AND a victim of the justice system's inability to do anything about said crime!

In reply to by OverTheHedge

DaveA BrownCoat Sat, 09/23/2017 - 22:43 Permalink

The Declaration of Independence is not the law of the land, the Constitution is, and the latter says nothing about men being created equal. The guy who wrote the Declaration owned slaves, and he later explained that equality was nothing more than a rhetorical flourish.

The Constitution grants Congress the power "To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization", and the 14th Amendment grants right to "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof". This excluded the many Indians who in 1866 had not yet submitted to US jurisdiction, and could be construed to exclude anchor babies of illegal immigrants too.

It's stupid to grant rights, which you are then duty-bound to uphold, to people who are not members of your society. Rights are reciprocal obligations (you protect my rights, I protect yours), not a gift to free-riders.

In reply to by BrownCoat

Rebelrebel7 Sat, 09/23/2017 - 17:08 Permalink

The Democrats certainly have demonstrated their double standards, yet again! There is no legal definition of a hate group, which has been acknowledged by the SPLC, (the self-appointed official labeler of hate-groups, which lists, verbatim, "The Radical Catholic Church " as a hate group for refusing to perform gay marriages)SJR 49, which was recently passed has authorized the Attorney General to investigate hate-groups with the cooperation of The Department of Homeland Security and to employ any means necessary to prevent hate crimes.Congress has made a complete mockery out of themselves, their alma maters, the constitution, the judicial system, and the English language. 

Rebelrebel7 Is-Be Sat, 09/23/2017 - 22:37 Permalink

I do not love hate. I love clarity, logic,  and freedom, which are completely meaningless and irrelevant to you, based on your response to my ststement. You have chosen to worship the god of confusion, that is and was  your perogative, which has  resulted  in your  confusion. Are you threatening to microwave me with WiFi and American Transmission Company signals for exposing fraud?If so, I live by the live free or die principal. How you can live with killing people and destroying their lives in a fraud cover up is something gratefully beyond my comprehension.

In reply to by Is-Be

historian40 Sat, 09/23/2017 - 17:05 Permalink

"While the practice may appear unconstitutional..."That's just a piece of paper, a historical document anyway.  The Constitution hasn't been the authority of the US regime since the Federal Union was formed to replace the Republic.

RumpleShitzkin Sat, 09/23/2017 - 17:06 Permalink

I fully support the deportation of illegal Beaner Beliebers, Swifties and Juggalos.

I don't care if the are in the Lawrence Welk Fanclub. If they are Mexican or other SoAm Nationals in this country illegally, bitches gots to go.

GreatUncle Sat, 09/23/2017 - 17:07 Permalink

Lateral thinking some of these laws "will" be useful later.In the UK the drug laws allows ready confiscation of property now if you apply that to a politician (planting the drugs of course) you can steal back all they have stolen quite easily. This type of law, broad reaching power but if inverted by a population in years to comt to  persecute those who created the law.Very simply if you are an immigrant you are supposed to respect the law of the nation you are residing in, break it and you get deported seems fair to me. 

DoctorFix GreatUncle Sat, 09/23/2017 - 22:27 Permalink

The fact the so-called "undocumented immigrants" are here illegally, and they damn sure know they are, should already tell you that they sure as shit don't respect you or your country.  They're unwelcome, unassimiable, ignorant parasites.  Do you see doctors and accountants swimming the Rio Grande?  What you have are scheming, government teat sucking, bottom feeders and not what any nation needs in order to mature and stay strong.  Those are my observations after many decades living near the border.  Hell..!!!..  It's generational.  When you run into folks who have literally spent their entire lives never speaking English in this their purported country, and playing stupid when you query them, the mind boggles.

In reply to by GreatUncle

Scanderbeg Sat, 09/23/2017 - 17:10 Permalink

These are illegal immigrants and dual citizens. They ought to be under heightened scrutiny and anybody who his helping or harboring illegal aliens can go fuck themselves. I tired of this social justice bullshit. This is OUR country and Americans who are convicted of crimes in places like Mexico are punished harshly. Illegal aliens are not citizens and dual citizens ought to be walking on eggshells. I couldn't care less about what happens to them. If it means less Mexicams that's good news. They can't deport them all fast enough. OUT OUT OUT!