Lawmakers also passed a bill that would increase penalties against deported immigrants who reenter the country illegally. That bill is a response to the 2015 murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco by an immigrant who had been deported five times and was convicted of seven felonies.
Republicans have tried to pass Kate’s Law since then, and are hoping the bill can finally become law under President Trump, who supports it. President Barack Obama had opposed it.
The bill passed 257-167, with the help of 24 House Democrats. The legislation would let judges increase penalties against illegal immigrants who are deported after being convicted of a crime, and who then reenter the country.
“For too long, illegal reentry of criminal entries has been viewed as a minor felony with only a fraction of those repeat offenders ever seeing the inside of a federal courtroom,” said bill sponsor and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., during floor debate.
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