House passes Laken Riley Act

The House on Thursday afternoon passed the Laken Riley Act, with all GOP members in attendance plus 37 Democrats supporting the bill.

The legislation, introduced by freshman conservative Republican Rep. Mike Collins of Georgia, requires the detention of any migrant who committed burglary or theft.

Laken Hope Riley was found dead last month after jogging near a lake on the University of Georgia campus. Police say she was killed by a man who illegally crossed the border. The 22-year-old died from blunt force trauma to the head, according to Athens-Clarke County Coroner Sonny Wilson.

One-hundred seventy Democrats voted against the bill. The ranking Democratic member on the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, criticized the legislation on the floor, accusing Republicans of “exploiting her death for a partisan stunt” and “throwing together legislation to target immigrants in an election year.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Louisiana Republican who has repeatedly called on the Biden administration to take more executive actions on border issues, said in a statement, “Laken Riley would still be alive if the Biden Administration had done its job.”

“House Republicans are not going to stand by quietly while the President and his administration release dangerous criminals into our communities,” Johnson said. “The Laken Riley Act would help prevent future tragedies. If Senator 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.”

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia passed out pins bearing Riley’s name to fellow GOP lawmakers on the House floor during the vote on the bill, and was seen pinning one on the lapel of GOP Rep. James Comer of Kentucky.

CNN’s Melanie Zanona and Kit Maher contributed to this report.

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