Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) Co-Sponsors Laken Riley Act Weeks After Opposing Provision

Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) co-sponsors Laken Riley Act

Montana Sen. Jon Tester, a vulnerable Democrat up for reelection this year, has co-sponsored the Laken Riley Act, weeks after opposing a similar provision in a government funding package.

The Laken Riley Act, named after the 22-year-old university student allegedly murdered by an illegal alien in February, would require federal officials to detain illegal aliens who commit burglary, theft, larceny, or shoplifting offenses.

On March 23, Tester voted with Democrats to block an amendment to the second government funding package that was described as a "modified version" of the Laken Riley Act. The amendment was introduced by GOP Sen. Ted Budd.

However, in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation, Tester said: "Keeping Montana safe is my top priority…"The senator added:

"After hearing from law enforcement officers across Montana, I'm backing the Laken Riley Act to make sure that individuals who enter our country and commit a crime are held accountable so that no Montana family has to worry about the safety of their loved ones…"

In late March, a spokesperson for Tester told the Belgrade News that he would support the Laken Riley Act as a standalone bill.

The Laken Riley Act was introduced by Republican Georgia Rep. Mike Collins, who represents the district where the student was killed. The bill passed the House on March 7 but has yet to face a floor vote in the Senate.

Republican Tim Sheehy, a former Navy SEAL, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have dubbed Tester "two-faced Tester" in regard to his changing stances on illegal immigration.

A J.L. Partners survey conducted in late March found Sheehy leading Tester by three points in a head-to-head matchup, with 7% of likely voters undecided.

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