House Passes the Laken Riley Act Despite Opposition from 170 Democrats


The House on Thursday passed the Laken Riley Act, which would require federal immigration officials to detain illegal immigrants charged with theft.

Riley, 22, was killed last month on the Athens, Georgia, campus of the University of Georgia. Jose Ibarra, an illegal immigrant from Venezuela who had a child endangerment charge against him in New York state and a shoplifting charge against him in Georgia before Riley’s death, has been charged with killing her.

The bill passed 251-170. The clerk of the House recorded all Republicans and 37 Democrats supporting the bill, while all 170 opponents were Democrats.

“170 House Democrats just voted against the Laken Riley Act, refusing to require the detention and deportation of illegal immigrants who have been caught committing a crime. Sadly, if these Democrats have their way, there will be more victims like Laken Riley,” House Speaker Mike Johnson posted on social media platform X.

“House Republicans are not going to stand by quietly while the President and his administration release dangerous criminals into our communities,” Johnson said, according to The Washington Post.

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“The Laken Riley Act would help prevent future tragedies. If Senator [Charles E.] Schumer and President Biden care to protect Americans and are serious about securing the border, they will bring this legislation up for a vote and sign it into law immediately.”

The future of the bill is uncertain, although House Republicans dared Democrats to bring it to a Senate vote.

“Colleagues, today we act on behalf of those who are no longer with us because of Joe Biden’s policies,” bill sponsor and Republican Rep. Mike Collins of Georgia said, according to a statement on his website.

Should the Senate pass the Laken Riley Act immediately?

“Let’s continue to pray for her family and friends as they grieve her loss and resolve to continue to fight for the American people against the lawlessness created by this administration,” he said, noting that the goal of the bill is to “prevent this from happening to another American.”

“Let’s ensure justice for Laken Riley,” Collins said in the release, which noted, “The bill directly addresses one of the federal policy issues related to Laken Riley’s murder.”

During the debate on the bill, Republicans linked Riley’s death to President Joe Biden’s immigration policies, according to The New York Times.

“Laken Riley is dead because of Joe Biden’s policies,” Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey said.

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Republican Rep. Tom McClintock of California said the crime was “foreordained the day this administration took office.”

During the State of the Union speech, Biden responded to criticism he had not yet said Riley’s name publicly. He showed a pin with Riley’s name given to him by Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, but flubbed the murder victim’s name.

According to the New York Post, Biden told Greene before the speech, “I know how to say her name.”

During the speech, however, Biden referred to her as “Lincoln — Lincoln Riley, an innocent young woman who was killed by an illegal.”

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at
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