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Coalition of Republican state AGs support passage of Laken Riley Act after House approval

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A coalition of 26 Republican state attorneys general is calling on the United States Senate to quickly pass the Laken Riley Act.

The Laken Riley Act, H.R. 7511, requires the detention of any illegal alien for any larceny, burglary, theft or shoplifting offense. The legislation passed the U.S. House with a bipartisan vote of 251-170, but every Virginia Democrat voted against it.

“The Laken Riley Act is so common sense that it stuns me that this isn’t everyday practice,” Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares said. “Individuals who are here illegally and breaking our laws, endangering the safety of American citizens, should not be given additional chances. Laken Riley deserved better, and it’s up to us to ensure this sort of tragedy never happens again.”

The letter argues: “It’s clear President Biden’s repeated actions of ignoring the rule of law and abandoning successful policies have created a border crisis of historic proportions. As attorneys general, we are fighting to preserve the rule of law and keep our states safe when the federal government fails to act, or in the case of illegal immigration, actively makes it worse. To that end, we applaud the bill’s enforcement provision for State Attorneys General.

We believe the Laken Riley Act is a strong bill that can act as another arrow in the quiver when it comes to combating illegal immigration and protecting Americans. Please advance this bill to a vote as soon as possible. Laken Riley should still be alive. Let her memory be used to protect others before it’s too late.”

State attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah Virginia and West Virginia joined in the South Carolina, Georgia and Florida co-led letter.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.