Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signs immigration enforcement bill pushed after Laken Riley killing –

By Rafael Romo, Shawn Nottingham and Kanita Iyer, CNN

(CNN) – Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Wednesday signed immigration legislation enforced after the death of nursing student Laken Riley.

Kemp said at the signing that the legislation, sent to him in late March, had become one of our top priorities “in the wake of the senseless death of Laken Riley,” who was found dead on the University of Georgia campus in February.

After Jose Antonio Ibarra, an undocumented immigrant from Venezuela, was charged with Riley's murder, Republican lawmakers used the incident to push for tougher immigration policies.

“If you enter our country illegally and commit additional crimes in our communities, we will not allow your crimes to go unanswered,” Kemp said at the signing.

The measure, HB 1105, signed Wednesday, requires local and federal law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of people over the age of 18 who have been arrested, are detained or who an “official has reasonable suspicion” has committed a crime.

Local law enforcement agencies that do not cooperate with immigration authorities could lose federal funding, and local officials who do not cooperate with immigration authorities could be charged with misdemeanors.

Supporters of the law call it a public safety law, and national Republicans have often linked crime and undocumented immigrants — although research has found no connection.

But Latino organizations told CNN they fear it could lead to racial profiling and cases in which U.S. citizens are mistaken for illegal immigrants based solely on their skin color or accent.

Pedro Marin, the longest-serving Latino member of the Georgia House of Representatives, said during the debate that lawmakers are using “fear as a strategy.”

“But our community cannot and should not be punished collectively for the terrible actions of one individual,” he said in February.

Last month, Tennessee's Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed a similar bill that would require the state's law enforcement agencies to inform federal officials of the immigration status of a person in their custody and assist in efforts to detain and remove undocumented immigrants from the country cooperate.

Similarly, in March, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed three new bills targeting undocumented immigrants and increasing the maximum penalty for people who drive illegally without a license. to increase penalties for a crime committed by a person returning to the country after deportation and to stipulate that Florida will not recognize IDs issued to undocumented immigrants.

The CNN Wire
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