Tuberville Sponsors Laken Riley Act

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville joined Senators Katie Britt (R-AL) and Ted Budd (R-NC) in introducing the Senate companion to H.R. 7511, the Laken Riley Act. This legislation would require U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to arrest illegal aliens who commit theft, burglary, larceny, or shoplifting offenses and would mandate that these aliens are detained until they are removed from the United States so they cannot commit additional crimes.  This legislation also would ensure that states have legal standing to bring civil actions against federal officials who refuse to enforce immigration law.

The Laken Riley Act was introduced in the U.S. House by Rep. Mike Collins (R-GA) and passed last week on a bipartisan vote of 251-170. The Senate cosponsors are urging Senator Schumer to bring the Laken Riley Act to the floor for a vote immediately.

Additional cosponsors include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Braun (R-IN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Josh Hawley (R-MO), John Hoeven (R-ND), John Kennedy (R-LA), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Jim Risch (R-ID), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), Rick Scott (R-FL), Tim Scott (R-SC), Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Thune (R-SD), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

Full text of the Laken Riley Act can be found here.


The Laken Riley Act:

  • Requires ICE to issue detainers and take into custody illegal aliens who commit theft-related crimes, such as shoplifting, as defined by state and local law.
  • Enables state Attorneys General to sue the Secretary of Homeland Security for injunctive relief if immigration actions such as parole, violation of detention requirements, or other legal failures harm that state or its citizens.

The bill directly addresses one of the federal policy issues related to Laken Riley’s murder. As is widely reported, Jose Ibarra, an illegal alien from Venezuela, was cited for shoplifting by the Athens Police Department prior to killing Ms. Riley. Ibarra first entered the U.S. illegally in early 2023 and moved to New York City, where he was arrested for endangering a minor. He was released by NYPD and moved to Athens, Georgia three months later. The safety and security of Americans should be the top priority of any administration; passage of the Laken Riley Act would correct the current trend of open border policies and refocus policies that are best for the country.

Securing the Border

Senator Tuberville supports common-sense policies that strengthen our border and national security like building the wall and reinstating the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the Remain in Mexico policy. Senator Tuberville has spoken about his concerns on the floor of the U.S. Senate and called on the Biden administration to act. In September 2023, Senator Tuberville helped introduce the Secure the Border Act of 2023, the Senate companion of the bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year, commonly known as H.R. 2. 

During his first four years in the United States Senate, Senator Tuberville has made multiple visits to the southern border and worked on many legislative initiatives to secure the border, including giving law enforcement the tools needed to keep our communities safe and reforming immigration law to crack down on abuse and discourage illegal immigration.

Senator Tuberville slammed Joe Biden ahead of his State of the Union speech last week for remaining silent about Americans who have been killed by illegal aliens. Following the tragic death of 22-year-old nursing student Laken Riley, Senator Tuberville delivered a floor speech  urging Democrats to take action to prevent other Americans from being murdered at the hands of illegal aliens. He subsequently penned an op-ed concerning this same issue.

In December 2023, Senator Tuberville called on the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement to overhaul its harmful and deficient policies regarding the treatment of unaccompanied alien children in the United States.

In November 2023, Senator Tuberville cosponsored the Southern Border Transparency Act. The legislation would force DHS to increase its reporting of data about illegal immigrants entering the country, in turn providing greater transparency to the American people.

In August 2023, Senator Tuberville called on the Department of Defense to halt the sale of border wall construction materials after reports that the Department was moving quickly to dispose of the parts in violation of law.

In July 2023, Senator Tuberville introduced a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to strike down President Biden’s Circumvention of Lawful Pathways rule, which funnels illegal immigrants into unlawful parole programs that DHS established without Congress’ consent. This funneling effect has allowed, and encouraged, more people with weak or non-existent asylum claims to enter the U.S.

In May 2023, following the expiration of Title 42, Senator Tuberville reintroduced The Empowering Law Enforcement Act, which would grant state and local law enforcement inherent immigration enforcement authority to investigate, identify, apprehend, arrest, detain, or transfer an illegal immigrant who has entered the U.S. Additionally, this legislation would provide the DHS Secretary flexibility on how long a criminal alien may be detained, extending the current 180-day period to ensure violent criminals are not released back into communities.

In March 2023, Senator Tuberville introduced the Border Safety and Security Act to protect Americans by combatting the border crisis created by President Biden’s immigration policies. The legislation puts more responsibility on the DHS Secretary and gives increased authority to state attorneys general to hold DHS accountable if the Department fails in its duty to restrict entry and detain illegal immigrants.

Also in March 2023, Senator Tuberville cosponsored the Stopping Border Surges Act to address loopholes in our immigration system that encourage vulnerable immigrant populations to take dangerous, illegal paths of entry into the United States. The legislation includes reforms that would reduce unsustainable surges of illegal immigrants, strengthen our asylum process, eliminate the incentive to send children to the border, and dampen the exploitative power of coyotes and cartels.

In 2021, Senator Tuberville introduced his first piece of legislation as U.S. Senator, which would require DHS to issue notices to appear to every single person paroled or released into the U.S., after media reported on the border becoming so overrun that Customs and Border Protection officers were forced to quickly release illegal immigrants into U.S. communities with no follow up for a date in immigration court.

Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.