Mayorkas Slams Republicans Over Comments on Laken Riley’s Death

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas pushed back against the Republicans’ attempts to connect the death of a Georgia nursing student at the hands of an illegal immigrant from Venezuela with the Biden administration’s handling of the U.S. border. 

Last month, Laken Riley, 22, was found at Augusta University’s Athens Campus dead following reports from her roommate that she had not returned following her run. Law enforcement arrested 26-year-old Jose Ibarra in connection to her murder. Following the arrest, the U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement (UCBP) had noted that Ibarra had come into the country illegally in September 2022 having crossed close to El Paso, Texas. He was then released for further processing following his detention.

CBS “Face the Nation” anchor Margaret Brennan has asked Mayorkas whether or not Ibarra should have been deported from the country after he had allegedly committed crimes in other states following his release. Mayorkas in response pointed out that this case was completely heartbreaking and tragic. He added that having been a prosecutor for 12 years, there was only one person who was responsible for murder and that was the person who had been the murderer. 

Mayorkas noted that they were closely working with law enforcement both on a state and local level in order to make sure that all those individuals who were posing a threat to public safety had a higher priority for removal and detention. 

Brennan also asked the DHS secretary whether or not the federal government had previously received information regarding Ibarra’s past crimes, claiming that he could have potentially been deported if that information had been received. Mayorkas pointed out in response that different cities and states have varying levels of cooperation with immigration authorities. 

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