Rep. Cook Votes for “Kate’s Law” to Enhance Punishments for Illegal Immigrant Felons
WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Paul Cook voted to pass HR 3004, Kate’s Law. It passed the House of Representatives and is now headed to the Senate. This bill protects the public by enhancing penalties for deported felons who return to the United States.
The bill is named for Kate Steinle, a young woman in San Francisco who was murdered by an illegal immigrant. Her murderer was deported several times only to reenter the United States each time. This bill would ensure appropriate punishment for individuals who reenter the US illegally and commit additional crimes.
Specifically, this bill enhances the current maximum sentences for criminal aliens who illegally reenter the United States to between 10 years and 25 years in federal prison, depending on the individual criminal history. In addition, any alien who is deported from the US prior to completion of a prison term, who then reenters the US, can have the remainder of their sentence reapplied. This is a significant enhancement over current law and would represent a true deterrent for criminal aliens who seek to reenter the US.
Rep. Cook said, “It’s inexcusable Kate Steinle was murdered as a result of failed immigration policies. Sadly, she’s not the only victim. Earlier this year, Tim Cruz was brutally murdered by an illegal immigrant and known gang member in Denver, Colorado. Kate’s Law will help prevent similar future tragedies by protecting our communities from dangerous criminals. I strongly support this bill and look forward to it being signed into law.”
A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.