Laken Riley murder: Immigration laws under fire after new revelations about killer

An official from Immigration and Customs Enforcement has claimed that Laken Riley’s murderer Jose Antonio Ibarra, an illegal immigrant, was previously arrested and released by the New York Police Department in 2023. The NYPD is now pushing back after the allegation.

The murder of Georgia nursing student Laken Hope Riley, 22, has sent shockwaves across the US (GoFundMe)

Ibarra has been charged with malice and felony murder, aggravated battery, kidnapping, concealing the death of another and other charges in Riley’s murder. According to UGA Police Chief Jeff Clark, Ibarra does not have an “extensive” criminal history.

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“There is no arrest on file with the name provided in 2023,” NYPD said in a statement on Tuesday, February 17, according to ABC News.

A statement from ICE said Ibarra was arrested on September 8, 2022, by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “after unlawfully entering the United States near El Paso, Texas.” “He was paroled and released for further processing,” ICE said. “On Sept. 14, 2023, [Jose] Ibarra was arrested by the New York Police Department and charged with acting in a manner to injure a child less than 17 and a motor vehicle license violation.”

“He was released by the NYPD before a detainer could be issued. On Feb. 23, 2024, ERO [Enforcement and Removal Operations] Atlanta encountered Ibarra pursuant to his arrest by the University of Georgia Police Department and being charged with murder and other crimes. ERO Atlanta lodged a detainer,” the statement added.

While an ICE spokesperson stood by the agency’s record keeping, they could not really describe the dispute. ICE first said the NYPD arrested the suspect and released him before federal officials could even seek his detention.

What did Brian Kemp say?

Addressing the Athens-Clarke Chamber of Commerce this week, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said Riley’s death was “preventable.” “First of all, [the family is] devastated. They are heartbroken. Marty and I both can understand. Our daughters are at the University of Georgia, and they work out in that same area [as Laken Riley],” Kemp said.

“They’re also mad like I am that this happened. It was preventable because we just have a nightmare in this country with mass migration and then have people that are here illegally breaking our laws and they’re not telling anybody and reporting this to us,” Kemp added.

Riley was found dead near a lake on the University of Georgia’s campus in Athens last week with “visible injuries,” according to UGA Police Chief Jeff Clark. She died from “blunt force trauma,” according to official police reports.

Riley was found dead near a lake on the campus in Athens. She died from “blunt force trauma,” according to official police reports. Riley was found to have “visible injuries,” according to UGA Police Chief Jeff Clark.

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