Georgia Governor Brian Kemp Signs Bill Mandating Jailers Check Immigration Status Of Inmates
EAGLE PASS, TEXAS - FEBRUARY 03: An aerial view shows an immigrant group trying to cross the Texan border despite heightened security measures in Eagle Pass, Texas on February 03, 2024.
(Photo by Lokman Vural Elibol/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed a law that will require jails to check the immigration status of inmates and collaborate with federal immigration officials.

The law, HB1105, would threaten to strip funding from sheriff’s offices that refuse to work with federal immigration officials when they have individuals in their custody who appear to be in the country illegally.

Kemp said that the legislation “became one of our top priorities following the senseless death of Laken Riley at the hands of someone in this country illegally who had already been arrested even after crossing the border.”

“If you enter our country illegally and proceed to commit further crime in our communities, we will not allow your crimes to go unanswered,” the Republican Governor went on to add.

An illegal immigrant from Venezuela named Jose Ibarra was charged in the murder of 22 year-old Laken Riley after she was found dead in a wooded area near the University of Georgia in Athens. An autopsy found that Riley had died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head, with the investigation also finding that Ibarra had dragged her body to a secluded location in an attempt to conceal his alleged crime. Ibarra’s charges included malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping, hindering a 911 call, and concealing the death of another.

Ibarra had previously been arrested in New York in 2022 and was charged with acting in a manner to injure a child younger than 17.

The new Georgia law comes amid an unprecedented crisis on the southern border, with immigration officials recording over 9.5 million nationwide encounters and 1.7 million estimated illegal immigrant gotaways since Joe Biden took office. There were only 445,000 total reported gotaways for 2018, 2019, and 2020 under the Trump administration.


Other Republican states like Texas have also taken action to crack down on illegal immigration amidst the crisis.

A number of recent public opinion surveys have found that Americans are broadly critical of Biden’s handling of the border, with residents in blue states like Colorado and Massachusetts naming immigration as the top issue facing their states. Another poll found that just 20 percent of voters across the country believe that the United States has control over its borders, while a separate survey revealed that only 36 percent of voters approve of Biden’s handling of the critical election year issue.

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