March 1, 2024

Senator Ricketts’ Weekly Column: Biden’s Border Failures Are Costing Americans Their Lives

March 1, 2024

Joe Biden’s open borders policies are the deadliest and most dangerous in American history. His failed policies have made every state a border state. It is costing Americans their lives.

Laken Riley was a 22-year-old nursing student. Last week, she was brutally murdered while on a morning run near her campus. Initial reports make it very clear that this brutal murder is a direct result of President Biden’s failed border policies. 

The alleged killer, Jose Ibarra, is an illegal alien from Venezuela. Ibarra’s case is a tragic example of Biden’s abuse of parole authority. He crossed the border illegally in El Paso, Texas, in September of 2022. Like many others, Ibarra knew he could take advantage of Biden’s border failure. He claimed to be seeking asylum and the Biden administration released him through parole. However, according to his wife, he was just looking for a better job.

Wanting a better job is not a reason to get asylum. Asylum and parole are supposed to be reserved for individuals with special circumstances. They’re not intended to be a general amnesty for those who want a new job. Sadly, President Biden continues to hand out parole like candy to 85% of those who knock on our door. Under the Obama and Trump administrations, 5,600 people were granted parole each year on average. Last fiscal year alone, Biden gave parole to over 1.2 million people. That continued abuse of parole allowed Ibarra to be released into this country. It enabled him to stay here. Without this abuse of parole, Laken Riley would likely be alive today. 

Biden’s abuse of parole isn’t the only policy that failed to prevent Laken Riley’s murder. After crossing the border illegally, her murderer and his family were then bussed to New York City. There, they received free food and shelter, courtesy of American taxpayers. They also continued to break our laws.Last September, Riley’s murderer was arrested by NYPD for “acting in a manner to injure a child less than 17.” New York is a “sanctuary city” which refuses to coordinate with ICE. Instead of alerting immigration authorities, New York released Ibarra. Sometime after that, he moved to Georgia and murdered Laken Riley.

The Trump administration sought to crack down on sanctuary cities like New York for supporting illegal immigration. However, President Biden restored their funding. Biden also refuses to support legislation that would hold sanctuary cities accountable for ignoring federal law. Without these policy decisions, Ibarra may never have been able to move to Georgia.

The federal government has a fundamental responsibility to secure our borders. President Biden has utterly failed to do that. His open borders policies gave Laken Riley’s alleged killer incentive to come here illegally. His abuse of parole authority enabled him to stay here. Biden’s refusal to enforce our laws gave Ibarra the opportunity to commit this heinous act.

President Biden failed to protect Laken Riley. He also failed to protect Taryn Lee Griffith and the countless other Americans who have died of fentanyl overdose. We must do better.

I’m committed to passing a border bill that forces Biden to secure our border. We must stop the mass parole of illegal aliens. We must end the national security and humanitarian crisis created by Joe Biden’s failed policies. I won’t stop working until we pass the right deal, not just any deal. That’s the best way to ensure that we don’t lose more innocent lives like Laken Riley’s.