Laken Riley Act passes House, despite Dem opposition

 March 8, 2024

Fox News reports that the Laken Riley Act has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives - despite the fact that a large number of House Democrats voted against the bill. 

The legislation is named after the 22-year-old Laken Riley, a University of Georgia nursing student who was murdered allegedly by an illegal immigrant.


Riley died from blunt force trauma to the head. The incident took place while she was jogging near a lake on the university's campus.

The alleged murderer is Jose Antonio Ibarra. The Washington Examiner reports that the " Venezuelan immigrant . . . had been arrested in 2022 for illegally crossing the border."

Fox further reports:

Before being charged with felony murder, Ibarra was once arrested in New York for endangering a child, and he was cited in Georgia for misdemeanor shoplifting in October 2023 along with his brother, Diego Ibarra.

Many have blamed President Joe Biden's policies for Riley's murder because these policies have allowed illegal immigrants such as Ibarra to not only enter America but to remain in America.

What would the legislation do?

The legislation was introduced by U.S. Rep. Mike Collins (R-GA). According to Collins's webpage, the Laken Riley Act has three purposes.

"[First] it condemns President Joe Biden's border policies, including catch and release, and calls on him to reinstate 'Remain in Mexico.'" Collins writes. "[Second] 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."

Finally, Collins states that the bill "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 essence, the act tries to prevent from happened again what happened to Riley.

170 Democrats vote no

The House passed the Laken Riley Act on Thursday by a vote of 251 to 170. The 251 figure includes all House Republicans and 37 House Democrats. 170 Democrats voted against the bill.

Collins celebrated the legislation's passage, and, now, he is calling upon the U.S. Senate to also pass the bill.

On his X account, he wrote:

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. I now urge the Senate to take up this bill immediately.

It remains to be seen whether the upper chamber, under the leadership of U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), will do so. It is also unclear whether enough senators would support the bill to get it through the Senate. The Democrats do have the majority in the upper chamber.

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