Laken Riley – say her name. The arrest of an illegal alien from Venezuela for the brutal murder of this promising young woman has rightly become a national call to action on the border. When the Democrats in the White House flat-out refuse to create a safe environment for a 22-year-old nursing student’s morning jog, you know that we’ve failed our young women.

We can hardly remember a time when purposeful inaction, like that of the Biden administration and his Democrat allies, has welcomed chaos and disarray throughout the nation. FBI Director Christopher Wray recently testified before Congress that “we have had dangerous individuals entering the United States… We are seeing a wide array of very dangerous threats that emanate from the border. The FBI alone seized enough fentanyl in the last two years to kill 270 million people.” Over the past several months, countless stories have been reported on drug trafficking, rapes, and murders by illegal aliens coming across our open borders.

More ominously, we know that people on the terror watch list are crossing these open borders into the United States. From 2021 to 2023, there was almost a 260 percent increase overall in terrorist screening encounters and an almost 800 percent increase on the Northern Border.

Open border policies have devastated our neighbors to the south. Massachusetts has eight sanctuary cities, including Boston, leading to migrants overwhelming their emergency shelter system. This will cost Bay State taxpayers close to $1 billion by the end of fiscal year 2024.

The Biden administration’s open border policies recently allowed a Haitian man to enter the country illegally, and then allegedly rape a 15-year-old disabled girl at a Massachusetts-run shelter. Democrat Gov. Maura Healey’s only response was to say, “I think we have the right systems in place,” and “It is unfortunate, from time to time, things will happen.” Her comments are unacceptable and dangerously naïve.

New Hampshire taxpayers can’t afford the consequences of sanctuary policies. Do we want Manchester Airport to be converted into a makeshift shelter like Boston-Logan Airport was? We do not want New Hampshire to be a magnet for illegal aliens like Massachusetts.

We’re already feeling the effects of open borders, along with every state in the nation. Opioid use has skyrocketed, and deadly fentanyl is seeping into our communities. If you visit any larger city in the Granite State, you will see the resulting homelessness that these drugs are bringing into our backyards. Now, every state is a border state.

And despite all of this, the Democrats still refuse to act.

But New Hampshire Republicans are taking action. Attorney General John Formella recently called for Congress to pass the “Laken Riley Act,” requiring the detainment of any illegal alien for the offenses of larceny, burglary, theft, or shoplifting. Sadly, our Democratic U.S. Sens., Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, voted against the bill. That’s shameful.

Sanctuary policies are a magnet for illegal aliens looking to evade the law. Republican state senators voted to prohibit “sanctuary cities” in New Hampshire. We voted to stop illegal aliens from using driver’s licenses they get in states like Massachusetts. We are fighting to stop the flood of fentanyl and opioids onto our streets, so we funded efforts to secure our Northern Border and send our National Guard to help secure the Southern Border.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, New Hampshire Democrats stood against these common-sense measures.

One political party is serious about our border crisis, and one is not. In fact, some Democrats are more concerned about the term used to describe a person entering our country illegally than stopping the flow of drugs and dangerous criminals. They object to saying “illegal alien” but do nothing to reduce the number of illegal aliens coming to our state. We think ignoring our immigration crisis is what’s offensive.

Laken Riley was violently beaten and murdered by an illegal alien who came into our country with bad intentions. Offensive language did not kill Laken Riley. Open borders and sanctuary city policies did. The time to act is now.



Sen. Sharon Carson (R-Londonderry) is chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sen. Bill Gannon (R-Sandown) is vice chairman.