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Rep. Chip Roy grills AG Garland over DOJ lawsuit against Texas to stop illegal immigrant enforcement

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, on Tuesday grilled Attorney General Merrick Garland over the Justice Department’s lawsuit against Texas to stop the state from enforcing border security measures.

Garland was testifying before the GOP-led House Judiciary Committee during the panel’s annual oversight hearing when he was asked about the court being waged against the Lone Star state. During his remarks, Roy pointed to the deaths of Lizbeth Medina and Laken Riley, both of whom were allegedly killed by illegal immigrants. 

In an effort to secure its border with Mexico and a surge in migrant arrivals, Texas has chosen to enforce immigration law as well as bus migrants to Democratic-led cities to relieve overwhelmed border towns. The Justice Department is suing the state over SB 4, which would allow local police to arrest illegal immigrants and for judges to order them deported.


“What we have is a continued effort by the federal government to fail to secure the border of the United States and Americans are dying or getting shot… two young women are dead,” Roy said. “Do you believe that Texas has a right to defend itself and to ensure that people who are in this country are not here illegally?”

As attorney general, Garland said his heart goes out to the families of those killed by illegal immigrants. 

“I say secondly, as attorney general, the way to stop people like this from coming into the United States is to give more resources to ther Border Patrol,” he replied, before being cut off by Roy. 

“Lizbeth Medina would be here alive today if we were following the law,” Roy said. “Laken Riley would be here today if we had not released a killer onto the streets of the United States of America through parole policies that this administration is advancing.”


A split image of Laken Riley and Lizbeth Medina

“The Department of Justice (DOJ) is suing the state of Texas in court, taking valuable resources, to go against the people of Texas when Texas simply wants to say that we should have a say in stopping people who are here illegally, arrest them and be able to deal with it on our own terms when the federal government refuses to do its job,” he added. 

Money won’t solve the problem if the DOJ and President Biden refuse to enforce immigration laws, Roy said. 

Medina, a 16-year-old Texas high school cheerleader, was found dead in her bathtub in December 2023. The suspected killer, Rafael Govea Romero, a 24-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico, is accused of stalking the high school cheerleader and aspiring nurse before allegedly striking her over the head and stabbing her in the Edna apartment that she shared with her mother.

Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student at Augusta University in Georgia, was attacked in February while on a run. The alleged killer, Jose Ibarra, 26, who is from Venezuela, illegally crossed into the U.S. through El Paso, Texas, in September 2022, and was released via parole.

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