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U.S. House passes ‘Laken Riley Act’

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) – The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the “Laken Riley Act,” Georgia Rep. Mike Collins announced Thursday.

The bill is named after the 22-year-old Augusta University nursing student who was murdered on the University of Georgia campus last month and could impact Georgia’s immigration policies.

Collins, R-Ga., authored the bill, which would require federal authorities to detain undocumented immigrants charged with theft in the U.S.

Collins said in a statement Thursday afternoon that the bill passed on a bipartisan basis, with 37 Democrats joining all Republicans in supporting it.

The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate for approval.

Jose Ibarra, 26, faces murder charges in Riley’s death. Officials with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said Ibarra illegally entered the United States near El Paso, Texas in 2022.

“The senseless murder of Laken Riley by Jose Ibarra, who had no business being in this country, was another wakeup call as Americans experience an illegal alien crime wave because of Joe Biden’s open border and local sanctuary city policies,” Collins said in a press release before the bill passed.

“I wish we could bring Laken back, but we must now turn our focus to ensuring this doesn’t happen to another American. That’s why I introduced the Laken Riley Act,” Collins added.


Gov. Brian Kemp also spoke out about immigration following Riley’s death.

“It was preventable because we just had a nightmare in this country with mass migration and then have people that are here illegally breaking our laws and they’re not telling anybody–reporting this to us,” Kemp said.

In a press release from Collins, he said the Laken Riley Act would do the following:

  • It condemns President Joe Biden’s border policies, including catch and release, and calls on him to reinstate “Remain in Mexico.”
  • It would amend federal law to require Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to issue detainers and take custody of illegal aliens who commit theft-related crimes, such as shoplifting, as defined by state and local law.
  • It allows state Attorneys General to sue the Secretary of Homeland Security for injunctive relief if immigration actions such as parole, violation of detention requirements, or other policy failures harm that state or its citizens.

In the state of Georgia, the General Assembly is still considering House Bill 1105. The immigration bill would require local law enforcement to apply to help federal agents enforce immigration laws and enact criminal penalties for sheriffs who don’t contact federal officials to check prisoners’ immigration status.

>>> WATCH ANF+: Magistrate Judge and Immigration Attorney Kimberly Bandoh weighs in on “Laken Riley Act” impacts

Magistrate Judge and Immigration Attorney Kimberly Bandoh joins anchor Joy Lim Nakrin to discuss the impact.


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