WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today introduced the Visa Lottery Repeal Act, the Preventing Visa Overstays Act and the Ending Sanctuary Cities Act to address key flaws in America’s immigration system and enforcement.
“The crisis unfolding at our southern border highlights the shortsightedness of President Biden’s immigration policy. Our immigration system is in chaos—we grant tens of thousands of visas without even considering the applications’ merit and allow immigrants to overstay their visas without serious penalty. Meanwhile, sanctuary cities flout federal law, and that endangers communities by ignoring dangerous criminals and suspected terrorists living there illegally. Our immigration policy needs to protect Americans and reward people who follow the law,” said Kennedy.
The Visa Lottery Repeal Act would end the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. This program distributes up to 50,000 immigrant visas each year without considering an applicant’s merit, need, employment status or family relations.
From 2009-2019, the number of visa overstays was double the number of illegal border crossings. The Preventing Visa Overstays Act would impose criminal penalties on immigrants who fail to depart the U.S. before their visas expire. Individuals overstaying their visas will pay a fine of up to $500 each day that they remain in the U.S. or face a jail sentence of up to a year, or both.
Sanctuary city policies forbid local law enforcement officials from complying with federal immigration laws. The Ending Sanctuary Cities Act would give legal protections to local law enforcement officers who cooperate with federal officials. It would also withhold federal financial assistance from sanctuary cities that refuse to follow federal law.