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Laken Riley's Parents Reject Invite to Biden's State of the Union

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Watching President Joe Biden extol his record during Thursday’s State of the Union address was more than the parents of murder victim Laken Riley could stand, a GOP congressman said.

Riley, 22, was killed last month on the Athens, Georgia, campus of the University of Georgia. Jose Ibarra, an illegal immigrant from Venezuela who had a child endangerment charge against him in New York state and a shoplifting charge against him in Georgia, has been charged with killing Riley.

Republican Rep. Mike Collins of Georgia posted on X that he invited Riley’s parents.

“I invited Laken Riley’s parents to the State of the Union address, but understandably, they have chosen to stay home as they grieve the loss of their daughter,” he wrote.

However, Collins said he is still sending a message he hopes Biden will see.

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“Therefore, the seat reserved for my guest will remain vacant to honor Laken and all American victims of illegal alien crime,” he wrote.

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“As Joe Biden attempts to paint a rosy picture of the crime-ridden country he has created, he will look up at an empty seat that memorializes those we’ve lost because of his open border policies,” he concluded.

On Wednesday, Atlanta News First reported that as she was being beaten to death, Riley’s phone made a 911 call, but that “no dialogue exists,” according to Athens police.

Also on Wednesday, a motion was filed requesting that at a Thursday hearing, Diego Ibarra, the brother of murder suspect Jose Ibarra be detained, suggesting he may be a member of a Venezuelan gang, according to WSB-TV.

Diego Ibarra was initially detained for having a fake green card. Since then, officials have learned that the illegal immigrant has been arrested three times, twice on shoplifting charges and once on a DUI  charge.

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Prosecutors said that it is possible Diego Ibarra is a member of a Venezuelan prison gang called Tren de Arugua, based on tattoos and other evidence.

Prosecutors also noted that in a social media photo, Diego Ibarra was shown with guns, which he is not supposed to have.

Collins has introduced the Laken Riley Act. The bill would “require the Secretary of Homeland Security to take into custody aliens who have been charged in the United States with theft.”

“The senseless murder of Laken Riley by Jose Ibarra, who had no business being in this country, was another wakeup call as Americans experience an illegal alien crime wave because of Joe Biden’s open border and local sanctuary city policies,Collins said, according to Fox News.

According to Fox News, the bill lets states sue the federal government “if an immigration related action (parole, violation of detention requirements, etc.), harms the state or its citizens. This gives states legal resource to force the federal government to address certain failures related to border security.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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