Poll: GOP Voters Extremely Motivated by Laken Riley’s Murder and Subsidized Health Care for Illegal Immigrants

Laken Riley’s tragic murder has highlighted increasing concerns of illegal immigration, with polling showing the issue’s rise in the minds of likely Republican primary voters.

Polling from the Tyson Group obtained by Breitbart News shows the issue of illegal immigration will be a top motivator for Republican primary voters up and down the ballot.

Riley, a 22-year-old Augusta University nursing student killed allegedly by an illegal alien released into the United States, is the latest American woman to fall victim to the federal government’s inability to enforce immigration law. Republicans have pointed to her murder as an example of the dire consequences of weak border and immigration enforcement.

The Tyson Group survey found an overwhelming 81 percent of likely Republican primary voters said stopping illegal immigration is a very important issue to them when deciding who to support for president, second only to improving the economy at 83 percent.

Additionally, the survey found 75 percent of likely Republican primary voters would be less likely to vote for an elected official who has supported weak immigration enforcement legislation — such as laws that prohibit local law enforcement from cooperating with U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The finding on voters’ concerns with local law enforcement cooperating with ICE came after it was reported Friday that Riley’s alleged murderer Jose Ibarra was arrested multiple times but ICE detainers for him were ignored.

Jose Ibarra and Laken Riley (Facebook/CCSO)

Ibarra first crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in September 2022. As part of President Joe Biden’s expansive Catch and Release network, where millions have been released, Ibarra was freed into the U.S. interior with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials citing a lack of detention space to keep him locked up.

The survey also found voters are concerned with a federal program — called the federal 340B drug discount program — that is being misused by health care providers in states around the country to subsidize health care for illegal immigrants.

It found 80 percent of likely Republican primary voters oppose states strengthening the 340B program and expanding access to subsidized health care for illegal immigrants, with 73 percent strongly opposing it.

Further, it found 75 percent of likely Republican primary voters are less likely to vote for an elected official if they signed legislation that would strengthen a program that subsidizes health care for illegal immigrants.

The survey comes as it was exposed recently by Real Clear Politics that healthcare providers in states like New York are now using the 340B program to subsidize “costs of care for [the] undocumented.”

Despite polling revealing the unpopularity of the issues, legislatures in both Virginia and Mississippi are considering legislation to strengthen the 340b program in their respective states, thus expanding health care access to illegal immigrants.

The Virginia Senate passed SB 119 by a 40-0 vote in February, and the House is expected to take it up soon. In Mississippi, SB 2415 is working its way through legislature.

In addition to playing prominently in Republican primaries, border security and immigration policies will factor into November’s general election. President Joe Biden ignored questions regarding Riley’s murder while speaking to the media Thursday in Brownsville, Texas, near the southern border.

Bradley Jaye is a Capitol Hill Correspondent for Breitbart News. Follow him on X/Twitter at @BradleyAJaye.

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