GOP Congressman Introduces “Laken Riley Act” To Require ICE To Detain Migrants Arrested For Theft

GOP Congressman Introduces “Laken Riley Act” To Require ICE To Detain Migrants Arrested For Theft

Following the death of 22-year-old Laken Riley, a nursing student, at the suspected hands of Jose Antonio Ibarra, an illegal immigrant from Venezuela who was arrested multiple times before the murder but never detained by ICE, Rep. Mike Collins of Georgia introduced a bill to prevent such tragedies from happening again.

The bill, called the Laken Riley Act in the murdered student’s honor, would aim to prevent illegal immigrants caught committing crimes, such as Ibarra, from remaining on America’s streets. It would require that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detain illegal immigrants caught committing crimes like theft or burglary.

Specifically, Fox News Digital reports that the Laken Riley Act would “require Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to issue a detainer for illegal aliens who are charged or cited with local theft or burglary. More serious crimes already require ICE to issue detainers but had Athens, GA Police reached out to ICE about Jose Ibarra when he was cited for shoplifting, and ICE issued a detainer and picked him up, Laken Riley would be alive.”

Further, the press release provided for the bill stated that it would “Allow states to sue the federal government for injunctive relief if an immigration related action (parole, violation of detention requirements, etc.), harms the state or its citizens. This gives states legal resource to force the federal government to address certain failures related to border security.”

The reason for the focus on crimes like theft and burglary is that Ibarra, before being charged with the felony murder of Laken Riley, was arrested numerous times. He faced an arrest for driving under the influence and driving without a license, and was cited for shoplifting in 2023. But, despite having been arrested by local law enforcement by those crimes, he was not detained by ICE and so was soon released and now Laken Riley is dead.

Rep. Collins, who represents the 10th District of Georgia, which includes Athens, told Fox News Digital, “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.”

Continuing, the congressman added that though Laken can’t be brought back to life, the legislature can at least try to prevent such crimes from happening in the future. He said, “I wish we could bring Laken back, but we must now turn our focus to ensuring this doesn’t happen to another American.” He added, “That’s why I introduced the Laken Riley Act.”

Rep. Collins has taken other steps in the wake of Laken’s death as well. He also, for example, helped organize a demand that Athens-Clark County’s sanctuary city policy be reversed. Tweeting about that, he said, “Very grateful for the many elected leaders across Georgia who agree that the current sanctuary policies in Athens-Clarke County must be reversed. Please thank them for helping us. Hopefully, many more will join in this fight.”

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