Lawmakers push to speed deportation of illegal immigrant criminals

Connecticut lawmakers introduced legislation Monday in Congress that would expedite the deportation of undocumented immigrants who have committed violent crimes in the U.S.

The bill would give the U.S. State Department the ability to revoke visas for countries that  consistently refuse to accept the return of their own citizens.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is the primary sponsor of the bipartisan bill. He has worked with Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Rep Joe Courtney, D-Conn., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

Blumenthal told The Connecticut Mirror that the threat of ending visas to countries that “systematically or unreasonably refuse, or delay, taking back their own citizens when they commit crimes here – and they continue to endanger our citizens” will be very effective.

The bill, nicknamed “Casey’s Law,” comes one year after the death of 25-year-old Casey Chadwick, who was stabbed in her apartment by Jean Jacques, a Haitian national.

Jacques had only been a free man for five months when he committed the murder -- he was first sentenced to prison for attempted murder in 1996. The U.S. tried to deport him upon his release, but the Haitian government refused to acknowledge he was a citizen.

The Supreme Court’s 2011 decision in Zadvydas v. Davis mandates that undocumented immigrants who cannot be repatriated in the near future be released from federal custody, even if they have been detained for violent crimes.