close Tom Homan on suspect in Georgia student’s murder: This would not have happened under Trump Video

Tom Homan on suspect in Georgia student’s murder: This would not have happened under Trump

Former Acting ICE Director Tom Homan argues the death of a Georgia student is a result of the Biden administration’s immigration policy failures.

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Sunday confirmed that the Venezuelan national charged in connection with the murder of 22-year-old Georgia nursing student Laken Riley entered the U.S. illegally in 2022 and had previously been arrested in New York City.

Fox News had previously reported that 26-year-old Jose Antonio Ibarra, charged with the murder of Riley on the University of Georgia campus, had crossed into the U.S. illegally near El Paso in September 2022 and was paroled into the U.S.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, ICE confirmed he had been encountered by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Sept. 8, 2022 after entering near El Paso and was “paroled and released for further processing.”

ICE also confirmed that Ibarra had been arrested by the New York Police Department a year later, on Sept. 14, 2023, and “charged with acting in a manner to injure a child less than 17 and a motor vehicle license violation.”


Jose Antonio Ibarra Mugshot

Jose Ibarra, who was originally taken into custody on Friday by the UGA Police Department in connection with Laken Riley’s death, is now not believed to have had a connection to the victim. (Clarke County Sheriffs Office)

When ICE learns that what it believes to be a removable illegal immigrant has been arrested on criminal charges, the agency will normally lodge a detainer – a request asking local law enforcement to keep the suspect in custody until they can be transferred to ICE and put into deportation proceedings.


Laken Riley in a medical coat in a grassy field

Laken Riley poses for a photo posted to Facebook. Riley, a nursing student at the University of Georgia, was found dead near a lake on campus on Thursday, February 22, 2024. (Allyson Phillips/Facebook)

In this case, however, ICE’s statement says Ibarra was released before a detainer could be issued. NYC is also a “sanctuary city” which generally restricts law enforcement from complying with ICE detainers.

In its statement, ICE said that its Enforcement and Removal Operations office in 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.” 


Riley, an Augusta University nursing student, was found dead Thursday after previously attending UGA before entering a nursing program at Augusta’s Athens campus, where she made the Dean’s List.

Police have charged Ibarra with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, hindering a 911 call and concealing the death of another, authorities said on Friday.

UGA murder suspect lived within 5-minute walk of crime scene Video

Ibarra appeared in court on Saturday morning, where Clarke County Magistrate Judge Donarell Green denied his bond “for today.” Two translators were present. Ibarra nodded when spoken to. 

Ibarra’s brother, Diego, was charged Friday with possessing a fraudulent green card and is being held in state custody. The federal arrest affidavit for Diego Ibarra says that in September 2023, Athens-Clarke County Police charged him with drunken driving and driving without a license. He was later arrested for shoplifting and later skipped court.

Fox News’ Michael Ruiz, Bill Melugin and Haley Chi-Sing contributed to this report.

Adam Shaw is a politics reporter for Fox News Digital, primarily covering immigration and border security.

He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter.

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