Walz Statement on H.R. 3697
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Tim Walz (MN-01) released the following statement after voting against H.R. 3697 on the House Floor:
“As a nation, we must do all we can to keep gang members from penetrating our borders and bring those criminals who already have to justice. This bill, however, poses the risk of classifying good-willed U.S. citizens who have no gang affiliation whatsoever as criminal gang members on the mere grounds that they are believed to have assisted undocumented families in some way. That means our community faith leaders and humanitarian aid professionals who are believed to provide support – whether it be shelter, transportation, or otherwise – for undocumented families are at risk of being classified as gang members. This just isn’t right, and we should demand more reasonable policies than this bill prescribes.
“Moreover, by allowing for the deportation of an individual on the sole basis that the government has a reason to believe someone has a gang affiliation, not an actual criminal conviction, this bill opens the door to subjective accusations being sufficient grounds for deportation. As a result, the racial profiling of a law-abiding DREAMer who has no gang affiliation whatsoever could lead to their deportation. Not only is this against our American values, but I believe this may very well violate the constitutional due process rights of the accused.
“All this considered, I could not in good conscience support this legislation. I remain ready to support commonsense measures to crack down on criminal gang members no matter where they are from.”