Laken Riley Act cracks down on illegal migrants: Rep. Collins

  • Bill gives states more power when dealing with migrants who commit crimes
  • Offenses like theft and burglary could result in detainment
  • Rep. Collins: Standards for detainment are 'a little bit too high' right now

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct that this bill is specific to the charges of theft and burglary.

(NewsNation) — A new federal bill, introduced by a Georgia lawmaker representing the district where nursing student Laken Riley was killed, would give states more power to fight federal immigration laws when it comes to crimes committed by migrants.

The Laken Riley Act is sponsored by Rep. Mike Collins, R-Ga., who represents the area where Riley was killed while on the run along a popular University of Georgia running trail.

Jose Ibarra, a migrant who entered the U.S. illegally, has been arrested in connection with the slaying.

Collins told NewsNation the Biden administration’s failure to keep the U.S. southern border secure resulted in Riley’s death. Collins said he expects the U.S. House of Representatives to vote on the bill soon, giving states more teeth in federal immigration laws when it comes to crimes committed by migrants.

“These people are committing crimes across this country, and they’re doing it in sanctuary cities,” Collins said. “And they’re just bouncing from one sanctuary city to the other because all they get is a little slap on the wrist.”

Ibarra was previously arrested in New York and charged with acting in a manner to injure a child under the age of 17, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. New York authorities released Ibarra before he could be detained.

Collins told NewsNation that Ibarra was released due to the lack of severity of the crime. He said that under his bill, migrants could be detained after being charged with theft or burglary.

Collins said that the standards for detainment are “a little bit too high” right now and that local officials need to have more power to push back against the Department of Homeland Security. He said that the legislation also allows states the right to sue federal agencies like DHS if they “don’t do their job.”

Collins told NewsNation that if passed, the bill would allow states to bypass the roadblocks created by sanctuary cities. He said he has had numerous conversations with Riley’s family and that they are in full support of legislation that will prevent this from happening to someone else.

He called the legislation necessary and said that if tougher laws were in place, Riley might still be alive.

“People are angry, just like the public,” Collins told NewsNation. “This is unnecessary. We all have children or nieces and nephews, and we’ve all known what it’s like to send them off somewhere and to feel like they’re supposed to be safe.

 “And in this case, this family did the same thing. And look what happened. It is a failure that needs to be addressed.”


Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

Trending on NewsNation



52°F Clear Feels like 52°
0 mph S


Partly cloudy. Low 48F. Winds light and variable.
48°F Partly cloudy. Low 48F. Winds light and variable.
3 mph NNE
Moon Phase
Waxing Crescent