Will More Extreme House Democrats Oppose Notifying ICE when Illegal Aliens Purchase Firearms?
FAIR Take | January 2023
One of the two immigration bills slated to be considered in the House next week – Rep. Greg Steube’s (R-FL) “Illegal Alien NICS Alert Act” – aims to limit gun violence from illegal aliens by seeking to prevent them from possessing firearms.
Specifically, the bill would require the Department of Justice (DOJ) to notify immigration officials and local authorities if the National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) system shows that an illegal alien attempts to purchase a firearm – a purchase already illegal under federal law.
By requiring information sharing between relevant agencies, the bill would help ensure that unlawful purchases are prevented and also aid in removing those illegal aliens from the country and preventing further offenses.
In the past, this has been a bipartisan issue, with 26 Democrats voting along with Republicans to include an amendment providing for notifying U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of failed background checks as part of broader background check legislation. That bill passed the Democrat-led House but didn’t make it out of the Senate.
While many of the illegal aliens crossing the southern border do so for economic reasons, the unfortunate reality is that many are also single, young males who are more likely to commit crimes as they move into the interior of the country.
As just one stark example of this, officials in Richmond stopped a mass shooting plot by two illegal aliens last year that aimed to target Independence Day celebrations. Officers “seized two assault-style rifles, a handgun, and more than 200 rounds of ammunition” as part of that plot, which was only foiled after a “hero citizen” overheard them.
To take a broader view, with the Biden administration failing to address the border crisis, Texas officials filled the void with Operation Lone Star, resulting in 23,000 criminal arrests, more than 20,000 felony charges, and over 354 million lethal doses of fentanyl seized since March 2021.
With border crossings already at a 22-year high and showing no signs of slowing down, now is not the time to get soft on crime.