House Republicans are pushing a bill to detain migrants accused of theft after a Georgia student was killed

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that would require federal authorities to arrest illegal immigrants accused of theft, a move recently taken up by Republicans Death of a nursing student in Georgia to rebuke President Joe Biden's border policies just hours before his State of the Union address.

After 22-year-old Laken Riley, an Augusta University nursing student, was killed during a morning run late last month, Republicans introduced the Laken Riley Act to the House of Representatives at the same time as Biden's annual address.

The bill passed easily by a vote of 251-170, with all Republicans and 37 Democrats voting in favor. But the nine-page bill was intended more to make a policy point than to enact legislation and had little chance of passing in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

As Immigration is becoming a top issue In the presidential election, Republicans are using almost every tool at their disposal – including Impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas — to condemn how the president has handled immigration. But Biden also criticized Republican lawmakers for rejecting a bipartisan bill last month that aimed to curb the number of illegal border crossings at the U.S. border with Mexico.

“Republicans will not tolerate the release of dangerous criminals into our communities, and that’s exactly what the Biden administration has done,” Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson told Fox News.

Riley's death has become a rallying point for Donald Trumpthe likely Republican presidential nominee, according to authorities Jose Ibarra was arrested for murder and assault, a Venezuelan who entered the United States illegally and was allowed to remain there to pursue his immigration case. He has not yet commented on the charges.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Ibarra was arrested by New York police in August and charged with injury to a child under 17 and a motor vehicle license violation. Ibarra was released before ICE could ask New York officials to detain him until immigration authorities could take him into custody, ICE said. New York officials said they had no record of the arrest.

The bill would also allow states to sue the federal government if they can prove harm caused by immigrants entering the country illegally. It was part of a broader push by Republicans to mock immigrants who enter the U.S. illegally and link them to violent crime.

Rep. Mike Collins, the Georgia Republican who sponsored the bill, posted on social media this week that he invited Riley's parents to the State of the Union address, but they chose to “stay home because they grieving the loss of their daughter.” ”

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

The speaker said his guests for the State of the Union would also include New York police officers who argued with migrants in Times Square.

Overall, however, there is no evidence that immigrants are more vulnerable to violent crime. Several studies have found that immigrants commit lower crime rates than those born in the United States. However, groups that advocate for restrictive immigration policies dispute or reject these findings.

One of the published studies National Academy of Sciences, Based on data from the Texas Department of Public Safety from 2012 to 2018, it was reported that native-born U.S. citizens were more than twice as likely to be arrested for violent crimes as people who were in the country illegally.

Democrats argued that Republicans showed they were not serious about enacting border policy changes by refusing to do so a cross-party proposal from the Senate, which would have overhauled the U.S. asylum system with faster and stricter enforcement. Republicans largely criticized this bill as inadequate.

Rep. Jim McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat, accused Republican lawmakers of using Riley's death for political gain.

“The idea that you would bring a bill like this to the table to take advantage of a terrible tragedy, a bill that is not going to do anything, a bill that you know is going to go nowhere, is really, really sad,” McGovern said.