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FIRST ON FOX: House Republicans on Thursday introduced legislation that would stop Justice Department action from taking into account the mental health status of an illegal immigrant who has committed a serious crime, whether immigration judges are considering their asylum claim or whether to deport him.

Shelter Claims Improvement Act, Introduced Representative Troy Nehls, through R-Texas, said judges prevent the mental health of an illegal immigrant who has committed a serious crime from taking their asylum claim or dismissal.

Garland says judges can consider the mental health of criminal illegal immigrants when examining asylum claims

Immigration and Nationality Act disqualifies illegal immigrants from both asylum and deportation detention – for fear that they will be persecuted if they return to their home country – a crime that is dangerous to society, especially if they have committed a serious crime.

Attorney General Merrick Garland last month overturned a 2014 decision by the DOJ’s Executive Office for Immigration Review’s Board of Immigration Appeals, which, when determining the severity of a crime, noted that “a person’s mental health is not a factor to consider, especially a serious crime analysis.”

Garland is a Mexican man convicted of burglary in New Jersey in April 2017 and sentenced to four years in prison. He tried to prevent his deportation by stating that if he was deported to Mexico he would be tortured because of his sexual orientation and mental health condition.

The immigration judge dismissed the application because it did not take into account the mental health of the immigrant. Subsequent appeals were also dismissed by the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Garland ordered the board to send the case for review in December, after which he announced that he had reversed the decision.

“In some cases, the defendant’s mental health condition may indicate that the defendant is not dangerous to the community,” he said, citing the example of a domestic violence victim who assaulted or influenced their abuser. By Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“In fact, a person may pose a risk to society despite his or her mental health condition, and in those cases, a ‘particularly serious crime’ ban may apply to suspend asylum and eviction,” he said. [the board’s decision] Was. “

Republicans have criticized Attorney General Merrick Garland for handling immigration cases.  Garland speaking at the US Conference of Mayors' Winter Conference in Washington, DC in January

Republicans have criticized Attorney General Merrick Garland for handling immigration cases. Garland speaking at the US Conference of Mayors’ Winter Conference in Washington, DC in January
(Eric Lee / Bloomberg by Getty Images)

Garland also vacated the board’s decision in the Mexican burglary case.

“Going forward, immigration judges can take into account the mental health of the defendant, who is convicted by a final conviction of a particularly serious crime and is a threat to United States society,” he said.

The law introduced by Nehls would prevent that from happening by modifying the INA without considering mental health in such situations.

“America is already facing an immigration crisis and a mental health crisis. We can not exacerbate both by giving free immigrants into our country criminal criminals claiming to be mentally ill,” Nehls said in a statement. “It’s common sense to most Americans, but not AG Garland.”

Immigrants across the southern border set a new record in May, and the numbers continue to rise

Nehls linked the decision to widespread Republican complaints that the Biden administration had not done enough to end the months – long crisis on the southern border.

“The Biden administration has shown from time to time that they are not interested in stopping the border crisis. In fact, their policies indicate that they welcome it,” he said. “If the Biden administration does not take action, Republicans will.”

Co-sponsors of the bill. Jeff Van Drew, R-NJ, Brian Bobbin, R-Texas, Tom Tiffany, R-Wis., Ronnie Jackson, R-Texas, Randy Weber, R-Texas, Lauren Bobert, R-Colo., And Louie Gohmert, R -Texas.

The bill also has the backing of conservative groups, including the Federation for American Immigration Reform, Citizens for Renewing America and Advocates for Victims of Illegal Alien Crime (AVIAC).

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“It would be ridiculous to allow mental health to stop a asylum claim or deportation,” AVIAC President Dan Rosenberg said in a statement. “Our country does not adequately support all Americans with mental health problems. Separate criminal illegal aliens. Without this law, we would be taxing more on our systems and tearing down those who seek refuge in criminals who are likely to become homeless on the streets. More crime is possible.”

The move by the DOJ comes as the administration is also pushing for the integrity of the shelter, which launched a rollout late last month. That rule sees asylum decisions through U.S. citizenship and immigration services rather than immigration judges as part of an effort to reduce the process to more than five years.

Bill Melugin of Fox News contributed to this report.