Laken Riley killing: GOP senators demand Mayorkas release files on migrant murder suspect

Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, a Venezuelan citizen, was granted parole into the US in 2022 after entering the country illegally

Georgia AG demands Biden admin take action on immigration policy following nursing student's death

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr joined 'Fox & Friends' to discuss what must be done following the death of nursing student Laken Riley. 

Several U.S. senators are demanding answers from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about why a Venezuelan migrant accused of killing 22-year-old Laken Riley, an Augusta University nursing student, was let into the U.S. in the first place.

A letter sent by 10 Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee requests answers as to why Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, was granted immigration parole into the United States. 

Immigration parole should only be granted on a "case-by-case" basis, and only if there is an urgent humanitarian reason or significant public benefit justifying a grant of parole," the letter states. 


A photo of the UGA crime scene below photos of Laken Riley and suspect Jose Ibarra

University of Georgia murder suspect Jose Ibarra lived within a five-minute walk of the approximate scene where he allegedly murdered 22-year-old nursing student Laken Riley on Feb. 22. (Mark Sims for Fox News Digital/ Laken Riley/ Jose Ibarra)

The senators are demanding a copy of Ibarra's case file no later than March 8. Specifically, they want to see "what urgent humanitarian reason or significant public benefit justified the decision to grant him parole."

"We have previously expressed significant doubts as to how the Department has been able to make hundreds of thousands of case-by-case determinations for parole every year, but you have assured Congress in your sworn prior testimony that the Department makes an individual determination for each individual alien granted parole," the letter to Mayorkas states. "Regarding the use of parole, you testified on November 8, 2023, 'We make our decision on case-by-case basis. That must also apply to Ibarra’s grant of parole."

Fox News Digital has reached out to the Department of Homeland Security. 

Riley was allegedly murdered while running along dirt trails near Lake Herrick in Athens. She died from blunt force trauma to the head. Authorities have called the killing a "crime of opportunity." 


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 Feb. 22. (Allyson Phillips/Facebook)

Ibarra is charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, hindering a 911 call and concealing the death of another.

He entered the U.S. illegally in 2022, and was granted border "parole," which allows noncitizens to temporarily enter the country due to an emergency or humanitarian reason, authorities have said.

He went to New York City, where he was arrested in August and "charged with acting in a manner to injure a child less than 17, and a motor vehicle license violation," according to U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement. 

Laken Riley smiles for a photo while running

Laken Riley smiles for a photo while running. Riley, a nursing student at the University of Georgia, was found dead near a lake on campus Feb. 22. (Laken Riley/Instagram)

Fox News reported this week that Ibarra was fired from his dishwasher job at the University of Georgia after it was discovered he presented a fake green card to work in the dining hall. He failed to submit further documentation and was fired without being paid. 

Fox News Digital's Audrey Conklin and Adam Shaw contributed to this report. 

Louis Casiano is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Authored by Louis Casiano via FoxNews February 29th 2024