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We simply don’t need to pour taxpayer dollars into supporting criminals who have perpetrated violence against Americans. Instead, we should focus our limited resources on protecting innocent lives from terrorists.”

WASHINGTON — Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today introduced a package of bills that protects law-abiding citizens and prioritizes them over convicted terrorists. The legislation includes the Terrorist Release Announcements to Counter Extremist Recidivism (TRACER) Act and the No Welfare for Terrorists Act.

“Terrorists who target U.S. citizens don’t deserve the public assistance that law-abiding families receive. We simply don’t need to pour taxpayer dollars into supporting criminals who have perpetrated violence against Americans. Instead, we should focus our limited resources on protecting innocent lives from terrorists. That’s why part of this package also directs the Department of Homeland Security to warn communities when convicted terrorists are released back onto their streets,” said Kennedy.

At present, the federal government has no systematic way—outside of the Joint Terrorism Task Forces—of notifying state and local law enforcement when people with convictions linked to terrorism are released into their communities. The TRACER Act would require the Department of Homeland Security to collect information on when and where the Bureau of Prisons releases convicted terrorists and share it with relevant state and local law enforcement.

The House of Representatives passed the TRACER Act in the 115th Congress.

The No Welfare for Terrorists Act would bar the federal government from giving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to individuals convicted of crimes related to terrorism. Current federal law prevents food stamps from going to people convicted of violent crimes like murder and rape. The No Welfare for Terrorists Act would update the law to make convicted terrorists ineligible to collect SNAP benefits.