Today, House Republicans will bring to the floor H.R. 5585, the Agent Raul Gonzalez Officer Safety Act. This bill will protect American communities by disincentivizing individuals, including smugglers and illegal immigrants, from evading Border Patrol agents and engaging in dangerous high-speed chases by giving law enforcement the necessary tools to fully prosecute and punish criminals who intentionally fail to yield to Border Patrol agents and law enforcement officials assisting the Border Patrol.
This bill is named in honor of Border Patrol Agent Raul Gonzalez, Jr., who died in the line of duty while pursuing a group of illegal aliens near Mission, Texas.
FACTS ON H.R. 5585, THE AGENT RAUL GONZALEZ OFFICER SAFETY ACT (Courtesy of the House Judiciary Committee):
H.R. 5585 gives law enforcement authorities the necessary tools to fully prosecute and punish criminals who intentionally fail to yield to Border Patrol agents and law enforcement officials assisting the Border Patrol. This legislation provides federal criminal penalties for individuals who intentionally evade Border Patrol agents or law enforcement officers assisting Border Patrol, with increased penalties for those who injure or kill someone while fleeing.
H.R. 5585 provides immigration authorities with the tools to punish aliens who endanger American communities by intentionally evading Border Patrol agents. H.R. 5585 ensures that aliens who intentionally evade Border Patrol agents will face specific immigration consequences. The bill makes such aliens inadmissible to and removable from the United States and bars such criminal aliens from immigration relief, including asylum. H.R. 5585 underscores that America has zero tolerance for guests in the United States who intentionally evade those who protect our border communities.
H.R. 5585 conforms to the pattern of other grounds of inadmissibility and removability in existing law by not requiring a conviction. This bill allows authorities to use an alien’s own admission that he intentionally evaded Border Patrol agents to make the alien inadmissible to or removable from the United States. In doing so, this bill guards against cases in which an activist prosecutor may decline to prosecute these offenses or allow aliens to plead down to crimes that would not make such aliens inadmissible or removable.
H.R. 5585 will disincentivize individuals from evading Border Patrol and decrease the number of dangerous high-speed chases. According to Border Patrol estimates, cartels engaging in human smuggling in the Del Rio Sector alone profit $32 million per week, for a staggering total of $1.6 billion per year. Contrary to illogical talking points from Democrats, the criminal penalties and immigration consequences imposed by this legislation will create a deterrent effect.
MAKE NO MISTAKE: The Biden border crisis has turned every American community into a border community and destroyed countless American families in the process. The American people have had enough of the chaos unfolding at our Southern and Northern Borders. House Republicans understand that the American people demand accountability for the historic crisis unfolding at our border and for border security to be restored.