US pushes law to arrest migrants for theft: ‘They are ‘criminals who roam the streets’

The House of Representatives approved a bill Thursday that would require federal authorities arrest migrants who are in the country without authorization and have been accused of robbery. Republicans have taken advantage of the recent death of a Georgia nursing student to criticize US President Joe Biden’s border policies just hours before his State of the Union address.

After Laken Riley, an Augusta University nursing student, was killed last month while on her morning run, Republicans quickly introduced the “Laken Riley Law” before the lower house to coincide with Biden’s speech.

The initiative was easily approved by 251 votes in favor and 170 against; all Republicans and 37 Democrats voted in favor. But the nine-page bill was designed more to send a political message than to enact a law, and it has little chance of being accepted by the Senate, where Democrats are in the majority.

As immigration becomes one of the major issues in presidential campaigns, Republicans are using almost every tool at their disposal — including impeachment proceedings against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas — to condemn the way the president has addressed the issue of immigration. But Biden has also attacked Republican lawmakers for rejecting a bipartisan initiative last month that was intended reduce the number of illegal crossings on the border between the United States and Mexico.

“Republicans will not allow dangerous criminals to be released into our communities, and that is exactly what the Biden administration has done,” said House Speaker Mike Johnson, speaking to Fox News.

Murder of college student in Georgia ‘ignites’ immigration debate

The death of Riley, 22, has becomedor in a common theme at Donald Trump’s campaign rallies after authorities arrested him on murder and assault charges. José Ibarra, a Venezuelan who entered the United States illegally and who was allowed to remain in the country to continue his immigration process. He has not pleaded guilty or not guilty to the allegations.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said the NYPD detained Ibarra in August and charged him with acting to injure a child under 17 and a license violation. of driving. Ibarra was released before ICE could ask New York authorities to hold him until immigration authorities could take him into custody, the agency said. New York officials have said they have no record of the arrest.

The legislation also would allow states to sue the federal government if they can prove harm caused by immigrants who enter the country without authorization. It was part of a broader push by Republicans to discredit migrants who enter the United States illegally and link them to violent crimes.

Republican Rep. Mike Collins, who sponsored the measure, posted on social media this week that he had invited Riley’s parents to the State of the Union address, but they had “chosen to remain home while grieving the loss of their daughter.” ”.

Johnson added: “Laken is just one of the tragic examples of innocent American citizens who have lost their lives, been brutally and violently attacked by illegal criminals roaming our streets.”

The speaker of the House of Representatives noted that among his guests at the State of the Union address will be New York City police officers who clashed with migrants in Times Square.

The myth: Immigrants are not more likely to commit crimes

However, in general terms, There is no evidence that immigrants are more likely to commit violent crimes.. Several studies have found that immigrants have lower crime rates than native-born Americans, although several groups in favor of restrictive immigration policies question or dismiss these findings.

A study by the National Academy of Sciences, based on data collected by the Texas Department of Public Safety between 2012 and 2018, found that residents born in the United States were more than twice as likely to be arrested for violent crimes compared to women. people who entered the country without authorization.

Democrats argued that Republicans have shown they are not serious about enacting changes to the border policies because they rejected a bipartisan Senate proposal that would have reformed the asylum system of the country with stricter and more expeditious application. Republicans mostly called the proposal insufficient.

Democratic Representative Jim McGovern accused his Republican colleagues of use Riley’s death for political purposes.

“The idea that you would bring an initiative like this to the floor to exploit a terrible tragedy, a bill that will do nothing, a bill that you know will go nowhere, is very, very sad,” he declared. .