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Protesters gather in Georgia over anti-immigrant bill

2024-03-14T14:40:34+00:00
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Laken Riley Law, People, Justice, Rights, News
Georgia prostesters decry Laken Riley Act (Photo: Mario Guevara / MundoNOW)
  • The Laken Riley Act sparks debate.
  • The bill was introduced after the student’s murder.
  • Immigration activists protest.

The House of Representatives has passed the Laken Riley Act. The legislation, targeting immigrants, has sparked intense debate and polarization in the political arena.

This bill was introduced in response to the tragic murder of a college student, allegedly at the hands of an undocumented immigrant.

Now, many in the Latino community in Georgia are gathering to protest against the anti-immigrant legislation.

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Origin of the Laken Riley Act

Demonstration in Georgia for anti-immigrant law, Laken Riley Law, Georgia, United States, Immigrants
Photo: The Associated Press

The bill, which also received support from several Democrats, aims to strengthen immigration control measures in the United States.

Named after Laken Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student who was murdered on the University of Georgia campus on February 22, it seeks to demand greater diligence from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

It focuses on the detention and deportation of immigrants who have committed minor crimes.

Georgia Rep. Mike Collins (R) is the primary author of the bill.

What would the bill do?

Demonstration in Georgia, Laken Riley Law, Georgia, United States, Immigrants
Photo: Mario Guevara / MundoNOW

According to Rep. Collins in an official statement, this legislation provides ICE with «more tools» to prevent the commission of serious crimes by undocumented immigrants.

The proposal amends federal law to require ICE to issue detention orders, according to EFE.

It also would require ICE to arrest undocumented immigrants who have committed minor theft-related offenses, such as shoplifting.

However, the approval of this bill has not been without controversy.

Immigration activists are protesting the bill

Anti-immigrant law, Laken Riley Law, Georgia, United States, Immigrants
Photo: Mario Guevara / MundoNOW

Immigrant rights advocacy groups like The Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights have expressed their opposition to the Laken Riley Act and are organizing protests against this legislation.

Through social media, the Alliance has called for a protest on Wednesday, March 13, at Liberty Plaza, urging the community to unite in rejection of the so-called «anti-immigrant legislation.»

«Say no to anti-immigrant legislation with GLAHR, Project South, and partner organizations as we denounce various bills in the Georgia legislative session,» they stated in their call to action.

The Alliance hopes that this demonstration, expected to involve at least 15 organizations, will send a powerful message to policymakers.

Community involvement

news, politics, crime, mundonow
Photo: Mario Guevara / MundoNOW

The demonstration is expected to reach policymakers to reconsider and repeal legislation that they consider harmful to the immigrant community.

The event, as explained by the organizers, is open to all community members interested in making their voices heard.

Additionally, they invite those who wish to participate in a meeting of the Senate Public Safety Committee that will take place immediately after the rally.

For this, a valid identification such as a driver’s license or passport will be required.

Debate before approval of the Laken Riley Act

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Photo: Shutterstock / The Associated Press

The approval of the Laken Riley Act and the reactions it has stirred reflect the complexity and sensitivity of the immigration issue in the United States.

While some see this legislation as a necessary measure to protect public safety,

others consider it a discriminatory policy that criminalizes the immigrant community.

The debate on immigration and related policies will continue to be a matter of great relevance in the country’s political landscape.

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