Georgia GOP Looks To Crack Down On Sheriffs, Jailers Who Shield Illegal Immigrants From ICE After Laken Riley Murder

Republicans in the Georgia House of Representatives are preparing to advance legislation that will punish jailers and sheriffs who don’t cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

State lawmakers added new provisions to an existing bill, HB 1105, following the murder of nursing student Laken Riley, according to the Journal-Constitution. Riley’s alleged killer, Jose Antonio Ibarra, an immigrant from Venezuela who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, was arrested by University of Georgia police and charged with murdering the 22-year-old nursing student.

The legislation, which passed out of the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee Tuesday, requires state and local law enforcement agencies and other government employees to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, the Journal-Constitution reported. The bill’s text says sheriffs and jailers who do not contact ICE or the Department of Homeland Security could face penalties, including loss of funding or even criminal charges.

The legislation also contains provisions similar to SB4, a bill signed into law by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, allowing state and local law enforcement officers to arrest illegal immigrants.

United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reported more than 6.6 million encounters with illegal immigrants since the start of fiscal year 2021, including over 2.2 million in fiscal year 2022.

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia blasted the Biden administration over Riley’s death, saying the murder proved “every state is a border state” during a Sunday morning Fox News appearance.

Harold Hutchison on February 28, 2024

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