Joe Biden Confronted About Laken Riley’s Death While Visiting the Border

During a press conference at the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas on Thursday, President Joe Biden was questioned about the tragic killing of Laken Riley, a student at Augusta University College of Nursing.

After Biden finished his speech, he was approached by an unidentified person who questioned whether he bore any responsibility for Riley’s death. The person asked if Biden carried any “responsibility” for the incident, referring to the bipartisan border security bill that failed in Congress earlier this month. In his speech, Biden had called on former President Donald Trump to “join” him in supporting the bill.

As President Biden walked away from the podium, a person shouted, “Mr. President, do you take any responsibility for Laken Riley’s death?” It remains unclear if the president heard the question.

The Context

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) revealed that Ibarra had unlawfully entered the country near El Paso in September 2022. This disclosure quickly led to calls for Ibarra’s execution from supporters of former President Donald Trump, who attributed Riley’s tragic demise to Biden’s border policies.

What We Know

As Biden wrapped up his speech on border security in Brownsville, Texas, on Thursday, someone from the audience expressed their concern, shouting “to hold you responsible.” The president, with his back turned, walked away from the podium while receiving a modest round of applause.

As the question about Biden’s responsibility for Laken Riley’s death was shouted, the same voice echoed through the room. However, the president chose not to respond and simply walked out.

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In a recent post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Steve Cortes, a former Trump adviser and Fox News personality, confidently asserted that the voice on the recording belonged to Griff Jenkins, a correspondent from Fox News.

On Thursday, the White House was contacted by Newsweek via email for comment.

Views

In a post on X, Republican Representative Mike Collins of Georgia asserted that the responsibility for the tragic death of Laken Riley rests on the shoulders of Joe Biden and his administration, including Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

A.J. Delgado, a former Trump 2016 campaign aide, expressed her belief in a series of posts on X that the immigration policies implemented by the former president could have had a greater impact on Ibarra’s illegal entry into the country than Biden’s.

According to Delgado, the Deferred Enforced Departure program (DED), signed by Trump in January 2021, established a unique category that made it attractive for Venezuelans to migrate to the United States, often through the southern border.

“You’ll come across many #MAGA supporters on this platform, asserting that #Biden bears responsibility for the murder of an Atlanta nursing student, citing the suspect’s status as an illegal immigrant from Venezuela who allegedly arrived in 2022,” Delgado expressed. “However, there’s a twist… #whoops: It turns out *TRUMP* is the one who should be held accountable, if anyone other than the actual murderer, of course.”

Under the DED program, the United States decided to postpone the deportation of specific Venezuelan nationals residing in the country for a period of 18 months. Additionally, these individuals were granted permission to work during this duration. In a memo issued shortly before leaving office, Trump justified this delay by pointing to the worsening situation in Venezuela.

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What’s Next?

Ibarra faces multiple charges, including malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, hindering a 911 call, and concealing the death of another. Currently, he is being held in the Athens-Clarke County jail.

As the November presidential election approaches, Riley’s death and the broader issue of immigration are expected to remain prominent topics in U.S. political discussions. Republicans contend that Biden’s policies have led to a surge in illegal border crossings and assert that there has been an increase in crime associated with migrants. However, evidence indicates that undocumented migrants actually have lower crime rates compared to native-born citizens and legal immigrants.

Democrats have accused Trump of trying to exacerbate the situation for his own political advantage. They highlight that the former president urged Republicans to obstruct the bipartisan border security bill, claiming it would be “a great gift to the Democrats.”

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