Georgia Gov Signs Bill Into Law Requiring Sheriffs Cooperate With ICE After Laken Riley Murder

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Jason Hopkins Immigration Reporter
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Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a new immigration enforcement bill Wednesday, months after a Georgia college student was allegedly murdered at the hands of an illegal immigrant.

Kemp signed into law House Bill 1105, which requires sheriffs in the state to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The legislation mandates local jailers hold any foreign national in their custody who is suspected of being in the U.S. illegally and wanted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Local law enforcement agencies that refuse to cooperate with ICE risk losing state funding or state-administered funding, according to the legislation.

HB 1105 largely prohibits local governments in the state from adopting “sanctuary” city ordinances, which explicitly prohibit their law enforcement officials from cooperating with federal immigration authorities, according to the bill. (RELATED: Mayor Of Town Where Laken Riley Was Murdered Is Trying To Quash Recall Effort Against Him)

“If you enter our country illegally and proceed to commit further crimes in our communities, we will not allow your crimes to go unanswered,” the governor said ahead of the bill signing, according to the AJC.

Kemp’s action on the legislation follows the murder of Laken Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student killed in Athens, Georgia, earlier this year.

Riley was abducted and murdered while jogging around the University of Georgia campus in February, and the coroner confirmed that she died from blunt force trauma to the head. José Antonio Ibarra, a 26-year-old from Venezuela, was subsequently arrested for her murder.

Immigration authorities confirmed that Ibarra was living in the U.S. illegally.

Laken’s father, Jason Riley, visited the Georgia legislature in March and urged lawmakers to take action, Fox 5 reported.

“God gave me a beautiful daughter to father, protect, provide for and nurture. A man with an evil heart stole her heart. He was in the country and in this state illegally,” Riley said at the time.

“My vision for every senator in this chamber is that you protect citizens from this illegal invasion,” he added.

Passage of the Georgia bill also follows a growing number of GOP-led states that are taking stricter action on immigration enforcement in the wake of the ongoing southern border crisis.

Governors in Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Iowa, and Tennessee have all signed sweeping legislation in recent months that crack down on illegal immigration. Many of these bills either give their law enforcement agencies greater authority to enforce immigration law or enact harsher punishments for those caught living unlawfully in the country.

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