Tillis, Blackburn, request action on Laken Riley Act

U.S. Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), along with 9 of their colleagues, recently requested that the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee markup legislation that would require the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to detain certain aliens under federal law who have been arrested for burglary, theft, larceny, or shoplifting.

The Laken Riley Act, S. 3933, also would authorize states to sue the federal government for decisions or alleged failures related to immigration enforcement, according to the congressional record bill summary.

Introduced on March 12 by 34 Republicans, including Sens. Tillis and Blackburn, S. 3933 also would also authorize state governments to sue for injunctive relief over certain immigration-related decisions or alleged failures by the federal government if the decision or failure caused the state or its residents harm, including financial harm of more than $100, the summary says.

The measure has been under consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).

“The Laken Riley Act mandates that ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] arrest illegal aliens who commit theft offenses — such as burglary, theft, larceny, or shoplifting — and detain them until they can be removed from the United States,” Sen. Tillis and his colleagues wrote in a May 23 letter sent to Sen. Durbin. “It also ensures that states have standing to sue the federal government in cases where federal officials (such as Secretary Mayorkas) are refusing to enforce immigration law.”

The senators also pointed out that S. 3933 is one of numerous pieces of legislation that Senate Republicans have introduced to better protect the American people from the consequences of the ongoing crisis at the southern border and to stop the flow into America of illegal aliens. 

“So far during this Congress, the Judiciary Committee has failed to take meaningful action on any of those bills,” they wrote. “We hope that will change in the near future, and we request that you start with the Laken Riley Act.”