What Is Kate's Law

What is Kate’s Law?

Kate’s Law (also known as the Establishing Mandatory Minimums for Illegal Reentry Act of 2015) was named after Kate Steinle, a young woman who was murdered in San Francisco by a man who had previously been deported from the United States but had returned multiple times. There has been much talk about Kate’s Law, but few individuals understand the contents of the law. The legislation is designed to deter individuals who have previously been deported from returning to the United States. If you are an immigrant who faces deportation or any other type of adverse action as the result of a criminal offense, you may want to obtain the assistance of a skilled immigration attorney.

The Legislative History of Kate’s Law

After the murder of Kate Steinle, Senator Ted Cruz and Republican Matt Salmon introduced Kate’s Law. In July 2015, the House passed another second measure entitled “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act,” which proposed cutting federal grants to state and “sanctuary cities” that refuse to cooperate with law enforcement who are tasked with enforcing immigration laws. In July 2016, a Senate version of Kate’s Law was passed, filibustered, but no supermajority existed to defeat the filibuster. On June 23, 2017, Representative Bob Goodlatte reintroduced two bills, Kate’s Law and an anti-sanctuary city policy, was passed on June 29 and proceeded to be heard by the Senate.

Details of Kate’s Law

The bill increases the maximum prison term for people who have previously been deported and reenter the United States after having committed a particular type of crime. A maximum prison term is the amount of time for which individuals can be charged with a crime. Kate’s Law applies regardless of the circumstances or nature of the person’s prior offenses or the person’s reasons for being in the United States. There are several other important elements of Kate’s law, which include the following details:

  • Kate’s Law provides a 10-year sentence for terrorists who have been deported and later returned to the United States. This 10-year period is added onto any other amount of time to which the person is sentenced.
  • There is a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison for individuals who have been convicted of illegal reentry twice before. Additionally, individuals who are convicted three times will likely receive an even higher sentence.
  • Kate’s Law provides a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for individuals who illegally reenter the United States after having been convicted of an aggravated felony. An aggravated felony includes many different types of illegal activity.

Obtain the Assistance of a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney

Some individuals support Kate’s Law as a measure to enforce violations against immigrants, while others argue that Kate’s Law would be largely ineffective. Criminal immigration laws are intricate and require the assistance of skilled legal counsel. If you are charged with illegal reentry, contact a seasoned lawyer at Federal Criminal Defense Law Center who knows how to best protect your rights. Call our law office today to take control of your case.