‘This In An Invasion!’: Residents Shout Down Dem Mayor For Defending Sanctuary City Policies At Laken Riley Briefing

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Jason Cohen Contributor
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Athens, Georgia, Mayor Kelly Girtz got heckled Wednesday after trying to deny that his city has sanctuary policies during a press conference on an illegal migrant who allegedly murdered nursing student Laken Riley.

An illegal immigrant from Venezuela named Jose Antonio Ibarra allegedly brutally murdered Riley, a 22-year-old University of Georgia student after she went out for a run on campus. An audience member at the press conference angrily shouted at Girtz, who is a Democrat, as he slammed Trump for his remarks against illegal immigrants. (RELATED: ‘Every State Is A Border State’: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Blasts Biden Administration Over College Student’s Death)


“Well 2019 was not that long ago,” Girtz said. “You might remember the dynamic … where you had the president of the United States speaking in the most vile of terms about people who are foreign born.”

“Please stop it. This is an invasion!” the audience member shouted. “When I was younger, I was a criminal and you know what I thought about doing? Crossing the border to Mexico to get away from my crimes. Thanks to Jesus Christ, he saved me and I no longer live that lawless life, but you do. You are lawless, Mr. Mayor.”

Other audience members also heckled Girtz, calling the mayor a “liar” and saying he has “blood on [his] hands for this murder” while he was denying Athens is a “sanctuary city.”

Ibarra had an extensive criminal record and was arrested Friday soon after Riley’s body was discovered. The suspect lived in Athens, Georgia after crossing the southern border into El Paso, Texas.

“In the main, I caution against conflating immigration and crime,” Girtz asserted while delivering remarks. “The data demonstrates that the two are not connected.

A separate Venezuelan migrant was subsequently arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in Virginia, according to the New York Post.

The Associated Press took heat for trying to avoid linking Riley’s death to illegal immigration, posting an article on X claiming Riley’s death “highlights the fear of solo female athletes” and labelling the alleged murderer as an “Athens resident.”

Girtz’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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