Senators Push Bipartisan ‘Laken Riley Act’

The death of 22-year-old Laken Riley has sparked a national push for stricter immigration legislation. The student’s death is allegedly the result of the unlawful entry of a Venezuelan immigrant into the US in 2022. The Laken Riley Act is now being pushed through the Senate by a group of 26 states and US senators.

A friend reported Riley missing on February 22. The caller reported to the police that the nursing student from Augusta University had gone for a run earlier in the day near the University of Georgia’s (UGA) Intramural Fields, but had not returned. After starting their search, the police found Riley’s corpse at Oconee Forest Park, behind Lake Herrick.

The student died from blunt force trauma, according to the Athens-Clarke County Coroner. The type of weapon that was used to kill her has not been disclosed by the police.

Jose Ibarra, 26, was taken into custody by UGA police and charged with many offenses, including kidnapping, criminal homicide, and false imprisonment. The suspect had apparently been apprehended and released twice before Riley was killed. Walmart shoplifting accounted for at least one of the arrests.

By a vote of 251 to 170 on March 7, the House of Representatives approved the Laken Riley Act. Under the proposed proposal, illegal immigrants who are charged with theft, shoplifting, burglary, or larceny would have to be arrested by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In order to prevent them from committing crimes again, the measure also requires the federal agency to hold immigrants who have been accused of crimes until they can be deported.

Additionally, if states feel that federal government representatives have broken the law or declined to enforce immigration regulations, they would be able to file lawsuits against them. The related measure was presented in the Senate by Republican Senators Ted Budd (NC), Katie Britt (AL), and Tim Scott (SC). Scott claimed that the Biden administration was a complete failure in handling Riley’s murder.

He said that by permitting illegal immigrants “to roam free on our streets” all around the nation, the president is failing to defend the United States.

In a letter to Senate leadership, the attorneys general of Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina urged them to approve the legislation. At least twenty-three other attorneys general endorsed the bill. The top prosecutors in the state referred to Riley’s death—which took place in broad daylight—as a horrific and preventable murder in their letter. They continued by describing the horrifying circumstances surrounding the student’s demise, claiming that her skull had been severely damaged. The senators were urged to approve the bill by the attorneys general.




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