Georgia bill would allow police to arrest anyone suspected of being in country illegally

The Georgia state House passed a bill that allows for anyone suspected of being in the U.S. illegally to be arrested.

The state House voted 97-74 to approve House Bill 1105, which would allow police to arrest anyone with probable cause who is suspected of being in the U.S. unlawfully and detain them for deportation.

The bill comes after the killing of 22-year-old nursing student Laken Riley in Athens, Georgia. The suspect in her death is Jose Ibarra, a Venezuelan citizen whom authorities say crossed into the U.S. unlawfully in 2022.

Ibarra was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) but released for further processing. He later was arrested in New York and charged with acting in a manner to injure a child, but was released before ICE could ask local authorities to take him into custody, The Associated Press reported.

Riley’s death has sparked outrage among the community and some Republicans have used her death as an opportunity to call out President Joe Biden and Democrats on the subject of immigration. Democrats are arguing that her death shouldn’t shape broad immigration policy.

The bill, passed Thursday, would require jailers and sheriffs to report to federal authorities when someone in their custody has been found to not have legal documentation. Local governments could lose state funding or state-administered federal funding if they don’t report it, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, which first reported the legislation passing.

State Rep. Jesse Petrea sponsored the legislation. He said he worked on the effort for at least a year but the bill took on new importance after Riley’s death, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.

Rep. Pedro Marin, Georgia’s longest-serving Latino legislator, said the crimes committed by individuals should not be used to generalize entire communities. He said the bill is an attempt to promote racial profiling, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.


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