Reps. Tony Gonzales, Juan Ciscomani Push Legislation to Impose Severe Consequences on Human Smugglers
Congressman Tony Gonzales (TX-23) joined Congressman Juan Ciscomani (AZ-06) to introduce new legislation that would impose federal penalties on anyone who engages in high-speed car chases with Border Patrol or other law enforcement officers in support of border operations. The bill, titled The Raul Gonzalez Officer Safety Act, is named after a Border Patrol Agent killed in a high-speed chase last year while pursuing a group of illegal immigrants in Texas. Under this legislation, failure to yield to law enforcement would be a felony and if an officer is killed during the apprehension, smugglers could face life sentences. If the assailant is unlawfully present in the United States, they would be permanently ineligible to apply for any legal immigration status.
“High-speed migrant pursuits have become a weekly if not daily occurrence in border communities,” said Congressman Tony Gonzales. “Schools have continuously locked down and people have died as a result. Enough is enough. This legislation will impose felony charges on bad actors that endanger our Border Patrol Agents and law enforcement officers who work tirelessly to keep Americans safe.”
“My district sees high-speed car chases coming through our communities every day, putting both the lives of Arizonans and Border Patrol agents in jeopardy,” said Congressman Juan Ciscomani. “Officer Raul Gonzalez paid the ultimate price, and we cannot let that sacrifice be in vain. We must send a signal to any bad actors illegally coming through the southern border that their actions have dire consequences.”
“Border Patrol Agent Raul Gonzalez gave his life in pursuit of criminals on our southern border,” said Congresswoman Monica De La Cruz. “This legislation honors the sacrifice of my district’s hero and stiffens penalties for individuals involved in a high-speed pursuit near our border. Cartels must know that crime doesn’t pay and the United States will hold responsible those who break our laws and hurt our citizens.”
A companion bill has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
“One of the worst consequences of this border crisis is the threat to public safety,” said Senator Ted Cruz. “Traffickers are killing people by loading up a car or truck stacked with illegal immigrants and then engaging in high-speed chases with Border Patrol or local police. These high-speed chases often end in tragedy, with people being killed regularly after the traffickers crash and passengers are thrown across the highway. Equally tragic are those innocent Americans who are struck by an illegal alien fleeing police or Border Patrol. My bill is fittingly named in honor of Border Patrol Agent Raul Gonzalez, Jr., who was killed in the line of duty on December 7, 2022, as he was pursuing a group of illegal aliens who were evading capture. My legislation will make traffickers think twice before engaging in a high-speed chase, since it includes serious jail time and prohibits anyone who runs from Border Patrol from ever obtaining legal status in the United States. My bill offers much-needed support to Border Patrol agents who are risking their lives daily serving an administration where the political leadership undermines them."
You can find the full bill text here.