Senator Warnock opposes Georgia immigration law

Lauren Sforza and The Hill

10 hours ago

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) dismissed the GOP-led Laken-Riley bill on Tuesday as “smoke and mirrors,” saying the immigration legislation was proposed by lawmakers “who aren't serious.”

House Republicans led the House in passing the Laken-Riley Act, which would require the Department of Homeland Security to detain people living in the U.S. illegally if they are accused of theft crimes. Warnock opposed the legislation on MSNBC's “The Reid Out,” pointing out that Congress has already reached a bipartisan agreement on border issues.

“First, I just want to say that I care about this young woman’s family. Laken Riley didn’t deserve what happened to her,” he said.

Laken Riley Act “has nothing to do with immigrants,” Georgia lawmaker says

“To answer your question succinctly: This is just smoke and mirrors from people who aren't serious. We had a bipartisan bill before us. There were a lot of supplies, some supplies that some people on my side didn't like. But the only path to comprehensive immigration reform, the only way to address the current crisis at the border in a divided government, is a bipartisan base,” he added.

Laken Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student, was found dead last month after her roommate reported that she had not returned from a morning run on the University of Georgia (UGA) campus. According to police, she was killed by a Venezuelan migrant who entered the country illegally in 2022.

Since then, Republicans have used her death to draw attention to the situation at the southern border. Rep. Mike Collins (R-Ga.), sponsor of the Laken Riley Act, held a seat for her at President Biden's State of the Union address last week.

Warnock previously accused Republicans of trying to score “cheap political” points over Riley's death after her name was mentioned in the State of the Union address. In his interview with host Joy Reid, he said lawmakers should “get serious about” the border.

“And rather than demagogue the tragic death of this young woman, they should be serious. And let’s pass some bipartisan legislation and address the crisis at the border,” he said.

Biden mentions her name – Laken Riley – at the urging of Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene