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H.R. 98: Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jan 3, 2019.


Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act

This bill makes aliens associated with criminal gangs inadmissible for entry into the United States and deportable, and establishes procedures related to designating groups with criminal gang status.

An alien shall be inadmissible if a consular officer, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or the Department of Justice knows or has reason to believe that the individual is or was a criminal gang member, or has participated or aided such a group's illegal activities. An alien who is or was a member of such a gang, or has participated or aided such a group's illegal activities, shall be deportable.

Such individuals shall be subject to mandatory detention, shall not be eligible for asylum, temporary protected status, or special immigrant juvenile visas and shall not be eligible for parole unless they are assisting the government in a law enforcement matter.

The bill defines a criminal gang as a group of five or more persons (1) where one of its primary purposes is the commission of specified criminal offenses and the members of which engage or have engaged within the past five years in a continuing series of such offenses, or (2) that has been designated as a criminal gang by DHS.

The bill establishes procedures for DHS to designate a group such status, including notification to Congress, publication in the Federal Register, and an opportunity for the group to petition for administrative and judicial review.