Democrat Sheriff In County Where Laken Riley Was Murdered Campaigned On Not Helping ICE
John Williams
Clarke County Sheriff’s Office

The Democratic sheriff of the Georgia county where 22-year-old nursing student Laken Riley was murdered, allegedly by an illegal alien, last week previously campaigned on not cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

Venezuelan Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, was arrested on Friday for the murder of Riley, whose skull was reportedly crushed during the violent attack on February 22. Her body was later discovered in the woods.

Ibarra illegally crossed into the United States through El Paso, Texas, in September 2022 before being released due to lack of detention space, according to Department of Homeland Security sources who spoke with NewsNation reporter Ali Bradley.

Athens-Clarke County Sheriff John Williams said while he was campaigning for the position in 2020 that he would not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, thus putting his community at risk.

“It is not my intention to cooperate with detainers,” Williams told a reporter. “I see it as the sheriff’s responsibility to protect the community. We can’t help with a culture of fear in our community and expect our community to respond and help us in situations.”

“Building relationships is key and if we’re antagonizing people because they are undocumented, then they built that fear in them, and they’re not likely to come to us. Not only when we need their help, but when they need our help,” he continued. “So that’s not something that we’d be doing. We won’t be doing any types of round-ups, and we won’t be contributing to that culture of fear.”



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

Under the Biden administration, more than 7.2 million illegal aliens — a number greater than the population of 36 U.S. states — have entered the U.S. The border crisis has become the top issue for voters heading into this fall’s general election, an expected rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reports a massive increase in the number of criminal illegal aliens encountered at the U.S. border under Biden’s presidency.

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