The House recently passed a bill that would expedite the removal of alien gang members from within the United States. Gang membership would become grounds for both deportation and for denying entry at the border. Currently, most gang members are only deported after committing an independent crime.

The Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act passed a House vote on Sept. 14 with votes sitting mostly along party lines (233–175). A total of 174 Democrats voted against the bill, while 11 voted for it.

The bill, HR 3697, amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to define a criminal gang as a group of five or more people with a primary purpose of committing crimes such as felony drug offenses, human trafficking, violent crimes, and/or fraud and racketeering. A gang can be designated as criminal by the secretary of homeland security, in consultation with the attorney general.

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