House passes Laken Riley Act, strengthening ICE’s ability to detain illegal immigrants

The bill was passed 251-170, with all House Republicans voting for the bill, in addition to 37 Democrats.
The U.S. Capitol

The House of Representatives passed the Laken Riley Act on Thursday, which calls on President Biden to denounce his administration’s immigration policies and ensure border security, as well as strengthening Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s ability to detain illegal immigrants. 

The bill, which was passed 251-170, was named after Laken Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student who was recently killed on the University of Georgia’s campus, allegedly by an illegal immigrant. All House Republicans voted for the bill, in addition to 37 Democrats, Fox News reported

Jose Ibarra, an illegal immigrant from Venezuela, was charged with Riley’s murder. 

Prior to Riley's death, Ibarra was transported to New York after Border Patrol encountered him at the border. He was later arrested by police in Queens, New York, for endangering a 5-year-old who was riding on the back of his moped "without a helmet," according to media reports. 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has said Ibarra could have been taken into ICE custody at that time but "he was released by the NYPD before a detainer could be issued.” 

Rep. Mike Collins (R-Ga.), who introduced the bill, called on the Senate after it was passed to quickly take up the legislation to "ensure justice for Laken and give ICE more tools to detain and deport criminal illegal aliens before they commit more serious crimes." 

According to the official text of the bill, "the Biden administration should not have released Laken Riley’s alleged murderer into the United States."

The administration "should have arrested and detained Laken Riley’s alleged murderer after he was charged with crimes in New York, New York, and Athens, Georgia," the text of the bill read. "President Biden should publicly denounce his administration’s immigration policies that resulted in the murder of Laken Riley."

The bill urges Biden to "prevent another murder like that of Laken Riley by ending the catch-and-release of illegal aliens, increasing immigration enforcement, detaining and removing criminal aliens, reinstating the Remain in Mexico policy, ending his abuse of parole authority, and securing the United States borders."