Republicans Introduce Bipartisan 'Laken Riley Act' in Senate: 'Prioritize American Lives Over Illegal Aliens'

Republicans have introduced the bipartisan “Laken Riley Act” in the United States Senate after the legislation passed the House with support from 251 Republicans and 37 Democrats.

On Wednesday, Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Katie Britt (R-AL), and Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced Rep. Mike Collins’s (R-GA) Laken Riley Act, which would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take into custody illegal aliens arrested, charged, or convicted for burglary, theft, larceny, or shoplifting.

“Laken Riley should still be alive today, and we must act to prevent tragedies like this from continuing to occur in our country … we must prioritize American lives over illegal aliens,” Blackburn said.

Supporters of former US President and 2024 presidential hopeful Donald Trump hold images of Laken Riley before he speaks at a “Get Out the Vote” rally in Rome, Georgia, on March 9, 2024. (ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/AFP via Getty Images)

“We simply cannot tolerate any more senseless tragedies like this one. What happened to Laken Riley should never happen to any American citizen,” Budd said.

Specifically, the legislation would require DHS to issue an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer against any illegal alien in the U.S. hit with such local charges if they are not already detained by local, state, or federal officials.

An ICE detainer requests local law enforcement to hold an illegal alien in their custody until federal agents can take over.

Britt said Riley’s murder “was a direct, preventable consequence of willful open border policies by President Biden and his administration,” while Collins thanked Britt for leading on the legislation:

I am grateful to Senator Britt for taking the lead on getting this vital legislation through the Senate so we can put Laken Riley’s name on Joe Biden’s desk and take a step toward preventing this from happening to another American. [Emphasis added]

Though a few dozen House Democrats backed the Laken Riley Act, the Biden administration has refused to say whether the president will support the legislation.

Some Senate Democrats have already slammed the bill.

“Laken Riley did not deserve what happened to her … [the Laken Riley Act] is smoke and mirrors by people who are not serious,” Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) told MSNBC. “…rather than demagoguing this tragic death by this young woman, they ought to get serious and let’s pass some bipartisan legislation and deal with the crisis at the border.”

On February 22, 22-year-old nursing student Laken Riley was found murdered in a wooded area on the University of Georgia campus after she had gone for a morning run. The following day, Ibarra from Venezuela was arrested and charged with her murder.

Months before Riley’s murder, Ibarra was issued a citation for shoplifting in Athens and was later issued a bench warrant for failing to appear in court on those charges. Despite the charge, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) did not take him into custody.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter here.


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