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Alejandro Mayorkas backtracks on Republican claim Biden immigration policy is responsible for the deaths of nursing students in Georgia: ‘One individual is responsible for the murder and that is the killer’

  • Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas appeared on Face the Nation on Sunday
  • He pushed back on the Republican party’s claim that President Joe Biden’s immigration policies are responsible for Laken Riley’s death at the hands of an illegal immigrant.
  • “One individual is responsible for the murder and that is the killer,” Mayorkas said

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Sunday walked back claims that President Joe Biden’s immigration policies are responsible for the death of 22-year-old nursing student Laken Riley.

Riley was brutally murdered while jogging last month, with her body found in a wooded area near campus in Athens, Georgia.

Her alleged killer, Jose Antonio Ibarra, was in the United States illegally and had committed crimes in other states.

That fact has been a rallying cry for conservatives — including former President Donald Trump — who believe the Biden administration has mishandled the migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“One individual is responsible for the murder and that is the murderer,” Mayorkas said during an interview on Face the Nation Sunday.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Sunday walked back claims that President Joe Biden’s immigration policies are responsible for the death of 22-year-old nursing student Laken Riley

22-year-old nursing student Laken Riley

José Antonio Ibarra

22-year-old nursing student Laken Riley (left) was killed last month while jogging near her campus in Athens, Georgia. Her alleged killer is Jose Antonio Ibarra (right), who entered the US illegally in September 2022 and was arrested in New York last September

The embattled DHS secretary, who was impeached by the House of Representatives last month, called Riley’s death an “absolute tragedy” when CBS’s Margaret Brennan asked whether Ibarra should have been deported.

“And our hearts break for and our prayers are with the family,” Mayorkas said.

The DHS secretary said his federal agency is “working very closely with state and local law enforcement to ensure that individuals who pose a threat to public safety are indeed our highest priority for detention and removal.”

She kept asking why that didn’t happen in Ibarra’s case.

“There are a number of cities in the country that are cooperating with immigration authorities to varying degrees,” he responded.

“We firmly believe that if a city is aware of an individual who poses a threat to public safety, we would request that they provide us with that information so that we can ensure that individual is detained if the facts justify this,” Mayorkas added. .

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said the suspect was arrested by New York police in September for “acting in a manner likely to injure a child.”

The NYPD did not confirm that part of the story, telling the local Fox affiliate that no arrests had been recorded for Ibarra.

U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement said Ibarra illegally entered the country near El Paso, Texas, in September 2022 and was released for further processing after initially being detained.

Brennan said that in this case it sounded like the FBI and New York City were not coordinating.

“Well, cities have different levels of cooperation. We were not informed in this case,” said HS.