After U. of Georgia Killing, Lawmakers Seek Tougher Immigration Laws

Republican lawmakers in Georgia are pushing to toughen state laws that govern detentions of undocumented migrants after a killing at a college campus sent shock waves through the state.

Last Thursday, the body of Laken Riley, a 22-year-old woman, was found in a wooded area on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens. According to the authorities, the man charged in her killing, Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, is a migrant from Venezuela who crossed the Southern border in September 2022.

Officials said that Mr. Ibarra and Ms. Riley did not know each other before the encounter that ended in Ms. Riley’s death.

As an outpouring of grief ensued in Athens, immigration policies in Georgia have come under renewed scrutiny, with Republican lawmakers looking to exercise more state power over local law enforcement agencies. Mayor Kelly Girtz of Athens-Clarke County has faced criticism from conservatives for his welcoming stance toward migrants, and a bill in the State House that would harden Georgia’s existing laws on immigration has gained new momentum.

Though it is still in the early stages, the Georgia bill making its way through the State House seems to have a clear path to passage, said David Schaefer, the vice president of research and policy at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.

“Language like this, and training around this new language in code, may produce an uptick in compliance with ICE detainers,” he said, adding that state lawmakers have clamped down on migration many times over the years — a pattern influenced, in part, by election-year politics.

Read the full article by The New York Times.

Support GBPI Today

The Georgia Budget & Policy Institute is a 501(c)3 organization. We depend on the support of donors like you. Your contribution makes the work that we do possible.

Related Posts

Sine Die 2024

Introduction Staci Fox, President and CEO When the 2024 Legislative Session began on January 8th,

Read More >

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter