(CNSNews.com) - The Senate immigration bill as it currently stands will allow an illegal alien with two convictions “for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated” to be granted legal status in this country.
If the alien is not then convicted of a third DUI after passage of the bill and before he is naturalized, he will remain eligible to eventually become a U.S. citizen.
And, even if an alien has been convicted of three or more DUIs, the bill allows the secretary of homeland security to waive the 2-DUI limit for illegal aliens seeking legalization if she believes it is “for humanitarian purposes, to ensure family unity, or if such a waiver is otherwise in the public interest.”
The bill brands an alien as a “habitual drunk driver” only after the alien has incurred three DUIs.
However, each of these three DUI convictions must be for an offense that happened on a separate date. Thus, theoretically, if an illegal alien were caught driving under the influence at 12:01 a.m one day, then went home and slept it off, then went out and got caught for driving under the influence again at 11:59 p.m. on the same day, he would only be counted as having one DUI under the Senate immigration bill.
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s summary of the bill put it this way:
"Section 3702. Banning habitual drunk drivers from the United States
“This section renders inadmissible and deportable any alien convicted of three offenses occurring on separate dates related to driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated. For deportation, at least one of the convictions must occur post-enactment. Further, the section makes conviction for a third drunk driving offense an aggravated felony. The provision takes effect on the date of enactment of the bill. It applies only if one of the convictions takes place after enactment of the bill.”
Pages 251-253 of Title III of the Corker-Hoeven amended text of the Senate bill (the “Interior Enforcement” section) spells out an illegal alien’s presumed right to get at least two DUIs (on separate dates) and still be legalized.
The bill says that an alien is “inadmissible” if he or she has already been convicted of at least 3 DUIs that happened on separate dates and is “deportable” if he or she had two DUI convictions before passage of the immigration-reform bill and then went out and got a third DUI conviction after passage of the bill.
Language on page 251 of Title III of the Corker-Hoeven amended bill says:
‘‘(F) HABITUAL DRUNK DRIVERS.—An alien convicted of 3 or more offenses for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated on separate dates is inadmissible.’’
Language page on 252 of Title III of the Corker-Hoeven amended bill says:
‘‘(H) HABITUAL DRUNK DRIVERS.—An alien convicted of 3 or more offenses for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, at least 1 of which occurred after the date of the enactment of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, is deportable.’’
The bill then specifies that an alien convicted of two DUIs before passage of the bill “may not” be removed from the country under the bill’s provision that "aggravated felons" be removed, because only a third drunk driving conviction incurred after passage of the bill will be considered an aggravated felony.
Language on pages 252-253 of Title III of the Corker-Hoeven amended bill says:
(ii) TWO OR MORE PRIOR CONVICTIONS.—An alien who received 2 or more convictions for drunk driving before the date of the enactment of this Act may not be subject to removal for the commission of an aggravated felony pursuant to section 237(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii)) on the basis of such convictions until the date on which the alien is convicted of a drunk driving offense after such date of enactment.”
In the event an alien is convicted of a third DUI after the passage of the bill, and is thus deportable, the bill still gives the secretary of homeland security the discretion to waive that provision and let the three-time DUI perpetrator stay in the United States.
Page 7 of Title II of the Corker-Hoeven amended version of the bill says:
“(i) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary may waive the application of subparagraph (A)(i)(III) or any provision of section 212(a) that is not listed in clause (ii) on behalf of an alien for humanitarian purposes, to ensure family unity, or if such a waiver is otherwise in the public interest. Any discretionary authority to waive grounds of inadmissibility under section 212(a) conferred under any other provision of this Act shall apply equally to aliens seeking registered provisional status under this section.