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DHS Says Criminal Activity of Laken Riley’s Killer Never Reported to Feds

Laken Hope Riley, 22, was found dead on the University of Georgia campus. foxnews.com
Laken Hope Riley, 22, was found dead on the University of Georgia campus. foxnews.com

Over the weekend, Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said that state and local governments did not provide information to the federal government about the criminal activity of the accused killer of Laken Riley.

Appearing on CBS News “Face the Nation,” Mayorkas first hesitated to say that the federal government had not been notified of Ibarra's activities. It wasn't until CBS News Margaret Brennan posed repeated questions that he admitted to the absence of cooperation. Mayorkas told Brennan that "different cities have different levels of cooperation." He went on to say that the federal government was "not notified in this instance."

Riley's alleged killer, Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, and an undocumented Venezuelan migrant who stands accused of murdering Riley was first detained by the U.S. Border Patrol on Sept. 8, 2022, and subsequently released on parole. Following this, he purportedly participated in two criminal incidents before the alleged murder of Riley.

The DHS Secretary said that Riley's death was an "absolute tragedy and that "our hearts break for and our prayers are with the family."

"We firmly believe that if a city is aware of an individual who poses a threat to public safety, then we would request that they provide us with that information," he told CBS News.

"As a prosecutor, having prosecuted violent crime and other crimes for 12 years, one individual is responsible for the murder, and that is the murderer," he added. Numerous Republican lawmakers have expressed discontent over Ibarra's release through parole and his alleged involvement in crimes before Riley's murder, without subsequent deportation.

Ibarra was arrested for two incidents, one involving an illegal scooter driving without a license in New York in August and the other related to a shoplifting case in Georgia.

According to authorities, Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student at the University of Georgia in Athens, was brutally murdered while on her morning run in late February. Numerous cities, such as New York City, have implemented "sanctuary city" policies, which restrict cooperation with federal authorities responsible for enforcing U.S. immigration laws.

Lora Ries, Director of the Border Security and Immigration Center at the Heritage Foundation told The Foreign Desk, "Mayorkas is responsible for releasing over 85% of illegal aliens into the U.S. and mass-paroling tens of thousands each month, including Laken Riley's alleged killer, Jose Ibarra." Ries further explained that "Mayorkas repeatedly states that DHS paroles aliens on a case-by-case basis. As such, he owes the Riley family an explanation for why he paroled Ibarra into the U.S."

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, there were approximately 176,205 migrant encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border in January, a decrease from the record 301,983 encounters reported in December last year. In February, the House of Representatives, led by the GOP, voted to impeach Mayorkas over his dereliction of duty regarding border security.

As the 2024 U.S. presidential election approaches, numerous Americans perceive the Biden administration's handling of the ongoing border crisis as severely deficient. Within the Republican camp, former President Donald Trump has garnered a considerable edge among voters concerning border issues, with 50% of respondents indicating that Biden's policies contribute to the surge in migrant attempts to cross the southern border, compared to just 9% attributing the same effect to Trump's policies.

Related Story: Border Agents Apprehend Greatest Number of Criminal Noncitizens in Recorded History in Fiscal ’23

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