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Lawmakers unveil bill after Norwich woman killed by convicted immigrant

HARTFORD — The killing of a Norwich woman by a Haitian man has led to federal legislation that would crack down on countries that refuse U.S. officials’ a...
jean jacques

HARTFORD — The killing of a Norwich woman by a Haitian man has led to federal legislation that would crack down on countries that refuse U.S. officials' attempts to deport dangerous criminals.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Joe Courtney, both Connecticut Democrats, unveiled "Casey's Law" Monday in Hartford.

"Casey's Law" would deny visas to citizens from countries that refuse to accept deportees from the U.S.

It's named after Casey Chadwick. The 25-year-old woman was stabbed in her Norwich apartment last June by Haitian national Jean Jacques. He's serving 60 years in prison for her murder.

Federal authorities had tried repeatedly to deport Jacques after he spent time in prison for attempted murder. But Haiti officials wouldn't take him back. Chadwick was killed six months after Jacques was released from prison.

It’s a bittersweet day for Casey's mother Wendy Hartling, who said, "Casey’s Law is huge. It's huge for me and it's huge for my daughter."

"This bill means so much and we really need to crack down on ICE," Hartling added.

Senator Blumenthal said, "Haiti refused not once, but four times to take him back saying there were no identification papers."

Jacques is just one of 8,275 people with criminal convictions released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody because no countries would take them back.

Casey's Law would require the Department of Homeland Security to hold countries accountable for refusing to take back citizens convicted of violent crimes or who pose a threat to the public. Department of Homeland Security and the State Department would then notify them that the United States may deny visas to their citizens. It would also require an annual report to Congress.

There are 23 countries deemed by DHS to be uncooperative with deportation. They include: Afghanistan, Algeria, Burundi, Cape Verde, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, and Zimbabwe

Blumenthal said, "I think this bill will be tremendously effective in pressuring countries to do the right thing."

Just last month, a report from the Inspector General revealed the State Department has no real means of enforcement. It also highlighted that just three to four deportation officers supervise a case load of 37,000 people waiting for deportation.

Congressman Courtney said, "They were going basically for the cases easiest to deport."

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