Posted on March 21, 2024

Laken Riley’s Father Jason Pleads with Georgia Senators to ‘Declare an Illegal Invasion’

Stephen M. Lepore, Daily Mail, March 20, 2024

Laken Riley’s father demanded the Georgia state government ‘declare an illegal invasion’ after the 22-year-old nursing student was allegedly killed by a migrant this past month.

Jason Riley’s speech in front of the Georgia State Senate comes as Laken’s death during a jog on February 22 continues to dominate headlines after the fact.

‘I stand before you, a heartbroken man,’ Jason Riley said Wednesday afternoon.

‘Part of my purpose has been taken. God gave me a beautiful daughter to father, protect, provide for and nurture. A man with an evil heart stole her life. He was in this country and in this state illegally,’ he added.

Venezuelan 26-year-old Jose Antonio Ibarra has been arrested and charged with felony murder, false imprisonment, and kidnapping, nearly two years after illegally entering the US from Venezuela, where his brother is said to be a member of the gang Tren de Aragua.

‘My vision for every senator in this chamber is that you protect citizens from this illegal invasion,’ Riley continued.

He turned to the fact that ‘there are a million illegal aliens’ in Georgia ‘making families nervous’ and cited Georgia’s capital, Athens, where he was speaking held sanctuary policies.

‘Please recognize Athens-Clarke as a sanctuary city, and this policy and the lack of action, led to the murder of my daughter,’ he said.

‘There are a few of you in this chamber that are standing up and working on that solution to protect us. For that, my family is thankful.’

He then addressed Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp in a plea to enact a statewide policy to prevent what happened to his daughter from happening to anyone else.

‘Governor Kemp, please declare an invasion to detain and deport criminal illegals so we can prevent future families from those tragedies,’ Riley said.

‘Hundreds of women and children each month…are being smuggled, coerced, and trafficked in our state. They are victims, just like Laken. I thank you for honoring Laken in this way, and I humbly ask you to do more to protect us. She and my family mean the world to me.’

Ibarra entered the US illegally in 2022 near El Paso, Texas, immigration officials have confirmed.

He is alleged to have killed Riley during a run near her college’s intramural fields the morning she was reported missing, before being found in some nearby woods with visible injuries.

Ibarra was named a suspect the very next day, after investigators analyzed yet to be seen surveillance footage from the college campus.

The Venezuelan citizen remains booked in Clarke County Jail on charges including malic murder, aggravated battery, and aggravated assault, as well as felony kidnapping and concealing the death of another.

The murder has become a political flashpoint for an already heated immigration debate that is a priority for many voters heading into the presidential election in November.

Earlier this month, Joe Biden uttered her name – albeit incorrectly – in what appeared to be an impromptu moment during his State of the Union speech. GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has met with the girl’s mother and stepfather, has and blamed her death on Biden’s policies at the border.

As a result, some have accused Republicans of using Riley’s death to advance their political agenda – a dynamic Jason Riley, on Monday, criticized.

Making it clear he does support the GOP frontrunner as a candidate, he said he would prefer politicians like him and Marjorie Taylor Greene would refrain from using his daughter’s death as a political tool.

‘I’d rather [my daughter’s death] not be such a political, how you say – it started a storm in our country,’ Jason said of his daughter’s death.

‘It’s incited a lot of people,’ he said, before asserting: ‘There’s people on both sides that have lashed out at our families.’

Pivoting to the political claims, he proclaimed: ‘I think [her death] is being used politically to get those votes.’

‘Laken has been a rallying cry for secure borders and for the illegal immigration policies of this current administration,’ the mourning dad continued, before disclaiming: ‘but there’s many women we don’t get to hear about.’

The remarks referred to multiple politicians’ use of his daughters names at campaign rallies and speeches in recent weeks, in what’s poised to be a hotly contested election year.

A bill in honor of Laken – eponymously named the Laken Riley Act – was passed the GOP-led House.

If signed, it would require US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to take undocumented immigrants into custody for theft-related offenses, after the suspect and his brother were arrested and released months before the murder after being found in possession of stolen merchandise from a local Walmart.