Duncan looks to boot suspected terrorists from country

Greenwood Index-Journal by Adam Benson

U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-Laurens, reintroduced legislation on Friday to kick suspected terrorists out of the country.

The Terrorist Deportation Act is nearly identical to a provision Duncan filed in September. The law would make any non-citizen or permanent resident who has been entered into the Terrorist Screening Database eligible for immediate and mandatory deportation proceedings.

Duncan said President Trump’s hardline stance against illegal immigration and border security emboldened him to bring the proposal forward once again.

“This new administration provides an opportunity for us to get serious about securing our country again and get tough with the terrorists who threaten the safety of our citizens,” Duncan said in a statement.

A spokesman for his office, Allen Klump, said the law would not affect lawful residents or anybody in the country on a green card.  

Currently, there about a million people on the database, and 5 percent are permanent citizens or legal U.S. residents.

“Especially after things like the San Bernardino attack, our thought is, ‘if you’re a guest in the U.S. and we have any suspicion that you’re involved in terrorist activity, you don’t need to be here,” Klump said. “We do protect due process rights so everyone is guaranteed a hearing with the opportunity to provide evidence.”

The measure, numbered H.R. 844, also makes anybody listed in the database inadmissible into the country.

Duncan said the law also has mechanisms in place to exonerate those who have been placed on a watch list by mistake.

“It is important to note that this legislation will provide a legal avenue for those mistakenly in the terrorist database and the related no-fly list,” Duncan added. “While we are making America safer for our citizens, we must also do everything we can to protect the rights of American citizens who are mistakenly caught up in terror investigations. My legislation seeks to achieve that balance point.”