Laken Riley’s Life Is Too High a Price to Pay for an Open Border

By: - March 8, 2024

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Laken Hope Riley was just 22 years of age. Late last month, her body was found in the woods on the campus of the University of Georgia after she was reported missing after a morning run.

Riley was a junior on the dean’s list at Augusta University and has been described as a “bright and dedicated student” and a “promising future nurse.” She was set to graduate in 2025 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

“Her smile was extremely infectious, and she spread joy to others everywhere she went,” according to an obituary posted online.

“She was devoted to serving the Lord. She was always involved with church, Woodstock City Church and Watkinsville First Baptist Church. Her love for spreading God’s word led her to attend mission trips through the church. Her love for the Lord was exemplified in every aspect of her life.”

The day after Riley’s death, 26-year-old José Antonio Ibarra was arrested on suspicion of Riley’s kidnapping and murder.

The same day, it was confirmed by multiple sources that Ibarra was among the approximately 10 million foreigners who have illegally entered the United States under the Biden administration.

News Nation correspondent Andrew Dorn reported that José Antonio Ibarra, a Venezuelan national, crossed illegally into El Paso, Texas, in September 2022, and was subsequently released by Customs and Border Protection “due to lack of detention space.”

News Nation further reported that Ibarra was arrested five months prior by NYPD in Queens, New York, “for injury to child less than 17 and no license,” according to  sources at the Department of Homeland Security.

It is a sobering revelation: Riley’s alleged murderer twice slipped through the hands of law  enforcement officials.

These facts notwithstanding, legacy news outlets went in search of a different narrative.

A CNN article published the day following Riley’s murder described the alleged killer as “Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, of Athens”—as though he was a local resident, just like his victim.

The Associated Press used the same odd framing, describing Ibarra as an “Athens resident.”

In fact, rather than highlighting the border crisis—which polls indicate troubles the majority of Americans—AP made its piece about the dangers faced by “solo female athletes.”

(Ever able to see the funny side, The Babylon Bee responded with its own headline: “Police Warn Women Not To Jog Within 2,000 Miles Of An Open Border.”)

The New York Post even insinuated that Riley bore some responsibility for her own murder by fighting back against her attacker.

Surely Laken Riley is worthy of better reporting than what the legacy press offered up.

More to the point, surely her life is too high a price to pay for an open border.

She is not alone. Tragically, Riley joins a growing list of law-abiding Americans whose lives have been ended by undocumented “newcomers”—including Lizbeth Medina, Kayla Hamilton and Brandon Rivas-Noriega.

Riley’s fate cannot be reversed. But she should, at the very least, be honored in her death with accurate reporting.

For her sake, and for everyone hurt by people who were never supposed to be in the United States in the first place, the border crisis must be a top priority for lawmakers in D.C.—and for voters everywhere.

Image credit: Unsplash 


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