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Carter, Tuberville Reintroduce Empowering Law Enforcement Act as Border Crisis Intensifies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In honor of National Police Week, U.S. Representative Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA) and U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) reintroduced legislation empowering law enforcement to apply our immigration laws in the face of President Biden’s inaction.

Empowering Law Enforcement Act would grant state and local law enforcement inherent immigration enforcement authority to investigate, identify, apprehend, arrest, detain, or transfer an illegal immigrant who has entered the U.S. Additionally, this legislation would provide the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary flexibility on how long a criminal alien may be detained, extending the 180-day period to ensure violent criminals are not released back into communities.

“Like all our law enforcement officers right now, thanks to the dangerous ‘defund the police’ movement, our border patrol agents are overworked and are not properly resourced or supported,” said Rep. Carter. “This bill will empower law enforcement to enforce immigration laws, even in sanctuary cities, so that they can keep our communities safe and restore law and order. With the recent influx in border crossings due to the expiration of Title 42, this is an all hands on deck situation.”

“With the Biden administration ignoring federal law and facilitating historic levels of illegal immigration, we should give state and local law enforcement the authority to keep their communities safe,” said Senator Tuberville. “The Empowering Law Enforcement Act gives state and local officers the ability to enforce immigration laws when federal offices are prohibited from doing so. It also would extend the detention period for dangerous criminal aliens. The Biden administration has opened up our border and undermined our law enforcement — this bill would bring that to an end.”

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Representative Jefferson Van Drew (R-NJ), Representative Bruce Westerman (R-AR), and Representative Randy Weber (R-TX) signed on as original cosponsors. 

The legislation is endorsed by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR):

"FAIR supports the Empowering Law Enforcement Act of 2023, and believes now is the time to provide more tools to state and local law enforcement officers who are bearing the burden of our border crisis and mass illegal immigration surges."

Specifically, the Empowering Law Enforcement Act would:

  • Allow immigration enforcement authority for state and local law enforcement entities, including the ability to investigate, identify, apprehend, arrest, detain, or transfer an alien into Federal custody.
  • Ensure that illegal immigrants are detained in federal custody upon state or local law enforcement request.
  • Reimburse state or local authorities for related incarceration and transportation costs.
  • Permit the Secretary of Homeland Security to extend the detention of criminal aliens until removal from the U.S.
  • Promote immigration information sharing between DHS and the FBI for the benefit of state and local law enforcement.

Rep. Carter also cosponsored a resolution memorializing law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty, which passed the House on Monday.

Read the full bill text here.