Laken Riley Is the Latest Sacrifice at the Altar of Anti-Borders Ideology


March 8, 2024

By William Davis

The brutal killing of a Georgia nursing student has further laid bare the depravity of the anti-borders movement, and the complicity of those who attempt to whitewash illegal immigration.

Late last month, an illegal alien from Venezuela was arrested after allegedly brutally murdering 22-year-old Laken Riley. The alleged perpetrator, Jose Antonio Ibarra, allegedly disfigured Riley’s skull after kidnapping her, and then ultimately took her life.

This latest tragedy was an all-systems failure by the federal government and local governments. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has confirmed that Ibarra crossed the border illegally in 2022. He then traveled to New York where he was arrested for “acting in a manner to injure a child,” according to ICE. Apparently, Ibarra was then released by New York authorities in compliance with the city’s sanctuary policies. He then traveled to Athens, Ga., where he allegedly committed this heinous crime. This brazen disregard for the rule of law at all levels of government is what got Riley killed. Riley’s government—which was supposed to protect her—completely failed her and her family.

While we still do not know all the details of this case, we do know that both cities this illegal alien is confirmed to have settled in have routinely flouted federal immigration law. New York has a long history of harboring criminal illegal aliens, and a 2022 study conducted by the Immigration Reform Law Institute found it to be the most dangerous sanctuary city in the country.  While Georgia state law officially prohibits sanctuary cities, authorities in Athens limit cooperation with federal law enforcement. Even after Riley’s tragic slaying, Athens Mayor Kelly Girtz claimed there is no link between illegal immigration and crime, a nonsensical statement that is easily disproved. Laken Riley’s death was not an aberration, but the latest chapter in a disturbing pattern of illegal alien driven carnage. 

In 2015, a young woman named Kate Steinle was shot and killed by the actions of a five-time deported illegal alien who admitted to accidentally firing a gun while she was walking along a pier in sanctuary city San Francisco. Steinle’s death led to national outrage, but has failed to lead to national reform. 

A similar situation occurred a few years later in Iowa, when 20-year-old Mollie Tibbets was abducted and murdered while out on a run. An illegal alien was sentenced to life in prison for the killing. Last year, a 20-year-old autistic woman was allegedly slaughtered by an MS-13 gang member in Maryland. Instead of working to ensure that more young American women don’t meet this horrific fate, the anti-borders movement and its allies in the corporate media have obscured the truth behind this latest tragedy.

Instead of working to ensure that more young American women don’t meet this horrific fate, the anti-borders movement and its allies in the corporate media have obscured the truth behind this latest tragedy.

In its initial report following Riley’s killing, the Atlanta Journal Constitution referred to the alleged killer as an “Athens man,” in what can only be described as a deliberate attempt to mislead its audience to prevent them from knowing he is an illegal alien from Venezuela. The Associated Press framed the alleged murder around unique dangers facing female athletes, instead of the ongoing illegal alien crime wave. 

For years, the corporate media has stealthily inserted anti-borders propaganda into its reporting, frequently referring to illegal aliens as “undocumented immigrants,” and refusing to report on the illegal status of aliens who commit crimes. Depending on what media one consumes, there is a good chance that many Americans who have seen this story don’t know that this crime was allegedly committed by an illegal alien. This isn’t just misinformation and bias, it’s a deliberate attempt to prevent the American people from holding public officials accountable for their role in this tragedy in order to prevent future ones from occurring.

Those in the press and other anti-borders activists will claim not to want to paint a broad brush based on anecdotes and individual cases, but they are willfully ignoring the surge of illegal alien crime taking place throughout the country. Violent deaths in Venezuela are at their lowest since 2001 in part because many of that country’s most dangerous criminals have come to the U.S. through our country’s surrendered border. Major U.S. cities have reported an increase in crimes committed by Venezuelan gang members, including violent assaults and organized retail theft. 

Venezuela, for its part, is now refusing to accept the criminal illegal aliens U.S. authorities are attempting to deport. Because of the recent success the anti-borders movement has had in getting its preferred policies implemented, America is becoming a dumping ground for other nations’ violent criminals. This will only result in more crime in the U.S., and more Americans like Riley having their lives cut short.

Laken Riley’s death is so tragic in part because it was so unnecessary. It could have easily been prevented if elected officials at various levels of government had not sacrificed the well-being of Americans at the altar of anti-borders ideology. The best way to ensure that her death was not in vain is to close the border and deport criminal illegal aliens.

William J. Davis is a communications associate for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.

Also published at Townhall, March 8, 2024.

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