Laken Riley’s Father Calls For Immigration Reform In Georgia

Jason Riley, father of the late Laken Riley, a nursing student tragically killed in February on the University of Georgia campus, delivered a heartfelt plea to the Georgia State Senate to pass immigration legislation. His emotional address was given Wednesday during a session in which a resolution honoring Laken’s memory was passed.

“I stand before you, a heartbroken man,” Riley expressed, his voice laden with grief. “A man with an evil heart stole her life. He was in this country and this state illegally.” Riley called on the State Governor, Brian Kemp (R) to declare a state of invasion due to the immigration crisis and to detain and deport criminal, illegal immigrants.

“Governor Kemp, please declare an invasion to detain and deport criminal illegals so we can prevent future families from those tragedies,” pleaded Riley. Drawing attention to the broader situation, Riley spoke on the need for enhanced human trafficking and smuggling protections in Georgia. “Hundreds of women and children each month … are being smuggled, coerced, and trafficked in our state. They are victims, just like Laken.”

The legislative response to Laken Riley’s death has been marked by efforts to boost cooperation between local and federal enforcement of immigration law. The House passed a bill withholding funds to jurisdictions that refuse to work with federal immigration authorities, pending consideration in the Senate.

Laken Riley’s alleged killer, Jose Antonio Ibarra, had an extensive record with the police prior to her death. Immigration and Customs Enforcement stated that Ibarra had been arrested by the New York Police Department two years ago on counts that included endangerment of a child and motor-vehicle violations. Ibarra also faced charges of shoplifting in Athens, Georgia, last September. Currently, Ibarra is facing multiple charges in relation to the killing of Laken, he is currently being charged with felony murder, kidnapping, aggravated assault, and battery.

Athens, where the killing took place, had become a living lab for the US immigration debate: the city, though not formally designated as a sanctuary, adopted a resolution in 2019 that purported to foster inclusivity for all residents of the city, regardless of immigration status. The city’s mayor, Kelly Girtz, warned against connecting illegal immigration with crime, stating “The data demonstrates that the two are not connected.”

Previous articleNorth Carolina Court Dismisses Calls To Remove Confederate Monument
Next articleWashington Drops Bar Exam Requirement In DEI initiative