Laken Riley Act’ Blocked by Democrats in Senate

( – Republican Senator Katie Britt, R-Ala., blasted her Democratic colleagues for refusing for a second time to bring the “Laken Riley Act” up for a vote.

The legislation was named after a 22-year-old Georgia nursing student who was brutally beaten and murdered by a Venezuelan illegal migrant in February. If passed, the measure would force the Department of Homeland Security to detain and deport illegal migrants if they had ever been arrested, faced charges, or had convictions for certain crimes. The language of the bill specifically lists burglary, shoplifting, theft, and larceny.

During a speech on the Senate floor, Britt pointed out that Rep. Mike Collins, R-Ga., was able to whip up 37 votes from the other side of the aisle to pass the bill in the House. She noted that 47 senators had also cosponsored the bill, adding that she was “confident that a bipartisan majority” of her colleagues supported the Act and “would vote for it today.” She compared the minimal number of 6,000 parolees allowed into the United States during the Obama and Trump administrations per year to the unprecedented 1.3 million in the last year under the Biden administration.

Britt made clear that Laken Riley was dead because her killer was paroled into the United States in 2022. She urged her colleagues to pass the legislation and send it to Biden’s desk to force him to act. Riley’s accused killer, Jose Antonio Ibarra, was indicted on May 7 by a grand jury in Georgia. He is facing felony murder and a host of other charges related to her death. Additionally, he was charged with peeping in a window at another woman before he killed Riley while she was out for a jog.

Ibarra crossed into the United States near El Paso, Texas, and was paroled into the country after DHS claimed its detention facilities were at capacity. However, nearly 8,100 beds were available. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) fingerprinted Ibarra in 2023 when he voluntarily showed up for his scheduled appointment. The results of the biometric scan revealed that Ibarra had a criminal record. He was arrested in September 2023 after wrecking a vehicle with an unrestrained child inside. However, no charges resulted from the incident. In November 2023, he applied for work authorization, which was granted just one month later.

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