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Laken Riley Act Empowers States to Stop Biden

author Published by Jared Culver

Despite the efforts of the mainstream media, people know the name Laken Riley has joined a long list of victims of open borders. Her death is the price Americans pay so politicians can look welcoming and humane. This list includes Kate Steinle, Sarah Root, and Drew Rosenberg. The problem is so prevalent that many grieving relatives of the victims have formed groups to speak out against the reckless immigration policies that destroyed their lives.

These tragedies are the result of a long-term complex disintegration of our immigration enforcement system. Successive presidents presided over border surges that overwhelmed enforcement resources and, in turn, executive agencies took shortcuts. Those shortcuts included alternatives to detention (catch and release), parole and deferred action, and employment authorizations. Since the aliens entering illegally were seeking precisely what the government was offering, the numbers steadily climbed.

You may be confused at my explanation at this point because it is clearly the case that the statutes on the books prohibited catch and release and mass parole. While it is true the law is clear that most aliens encountered at the border are subject to expedited removal or detention pending the result of their asylum claim, the problem is who can stop a rogue president(s) from ignoring the law? 

Into this breach the House of Representatives is considering H.R. 7511, the Laken Riley Act. The legislation empowers state governments to challenge the plainly illegal actions of presidents. This is crucial because one recurring challenge in lawsuits against executive immigration policies has been standing. 

Standing is a judge-created evaluation of whether the plaintiff has a claim worthy of court consideration. Plaintiffs, among other things, must demonstrate actual harm they have suffered that was caused by the person they are seeking to sue. The Supreme Court just last year allowed President Biden’s illegal immigration enforcement priorities to survive legal challenge because the plaintiffs lacked standing. 

The Laken Riley Act remedies this problem by explicitly providing standing to states to sue the Executive Branch in a wide variety of cases where discretion has led to dangerous open border policies. The bill gives standing to sue in Federal court, along with expedited consideration, for catch and release, mass parole, and failing to discontinue visas to recalcitrant nations. Additionally, it requires detention for aliens arrested or charged with various varieties of theft. 

Admittedly, this legislation would not solve all of our problems. It is simply Congress attempting to provide the states a means of defending themselves against the obviously dangerous policies currently in place. The hope is that once the legal hurdle of standing is removed, that courts will evaluate the Biden policies based on the law on the books. While this bill is no substitute for H.R. 2, nor can it bring back Laken Riley, it could empower states and courts to prevent a future tragedy.

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