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WASHINGTON, D.C. – FAMM government affairs counsel Molly Gill said today that a new estimate should convince lawmakers to oppose the immigration bill known commonly as “Kate’s Law.” The bill, named for a California woman who was tragically killed earlier this year by an undocumented immigrant, would impose a new five-year mandatory minimum prison sentence for any individual who reenters the United States after being removed. The new sentence would apply whether or not the individual committed a violent crime.
According to an analysis from the nonpartisan U.S. Sentencing Commission, the new five-year mandatory minimum would increase the population of federal prisons over the next five years by nearly 60,000 inmates, a staggering 28 percent rise. To house, feed, and clothe these additional inmates, U.S. taxpayers would be on the hook for an additional $2 billion per year in wasteful federal spending.
“We do not honor the victims of horrific crimes by creating terrible public policy,” said Gill. “The Justice Department’s internal watchdog has already warned Congress that skyrocketing federal prison budgets are stealing critical funding for investigators, police, and prosecutors.”
Gill pointed out that the Federal Bureau of Prisons is already operating at 133 percent capacity and consumes 30 percent of the Justice Department budget. She also noted that the push for Kate’s Law comes at a time when many in Congress are pushing to reform mandatory minimum sentencing laws.
“Mandatory minimums don’t deter crime, and they seldom punish only the offenders who inspire legislation like Kate’s Law,” said Gill. “This bill won’t stop deported immigrants from reentering the country, but it will force American taxpayers to pay for half a decade’s worth of food, clothing, and housing for people we supposedly don’t want in the country at all.”