‘Breakdown In The System’: CBS Host Presses Mayorkas On Illegal Immigrant Charged In Laken Riley’s Death

[Screenshot/CBS News/"Face the Nation"]

Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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CBS host Margaret Brennan pressed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Sunday over the illegal immigrant charged in the death of 22-year-old Georgia nursing student Laken Riley.

Mayorkas appeared on “Face the Nation” to discuss the ongoing border crisis and backlash received following the death of Riley, who was allegedly killed by Venezuelan illegal immigrant Jose Ibarra Feb. 22. Details about Ibarra emerged Feb. 23 after authorities released his identity, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed his illegal status within the country a few days later. ICE officials announced Ibarra’s arrest in New York City (NYC) as well as a motor vehicle license violation prior to his being charged in Riley’s death. (RELATED: Illegal Immigrant With Criminal History Charged In Murder Of Georgia University Student)

Brennan questioned Mayorkas on whether Ibarra should have been “deported” due to his previous criminal history. However, the DHS Secretary claimed that the federal government was “not notified” in his case.

“Did those states and their law enforcement communicate to the federal government that this had happened? Should this man have been deported?” Brennan question.

“A few thoughts. First, Margaret, first and foremost, an absolute tragedy and our hearts break for and our prayers are with the family — number one. Number two — and importantly, as a prosecutor, having prosecuted violent crime and other crimes for 12 years — one individual is responsible for the murder and that is the murderer. And we work very closely with state and local law enforcement to ensure that individuals who pose a threat to public safety are indeed our highest priority for detention and removal,” Mayorkas stated.

“But are you saying there that the federal government had been informed about this individual and the alleged crimes he had committed in those states? Because he could have been deported if that was the case. Was there a breakdown in the system?” Brennan pressed.

“So, Margaret, there are a number of cities around the country that have varying degrees of cooperation with the immigration authorities. We firmly believe that —” Mayorkas stated.

“New York did not?” Brennan jumped in.

“We firmly believe if a city is aware of an individual who poses a threat to public safety, then we would request that they provide us with that information so that we can ensure that that individual is detained if the facts so warrant,” Mayorkas continued.

“And it sounds like they were not coordinating?” Brennan asked.

“Well, different cities have different levels of cooperation. We were not notified in this instance,” Mayorkas stated.

Since his arrest, Ibarra has been charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, hindering a 911 call and concealing the death of another. He is currently being held without bail. The Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Atlanta has also lodged a detainer against Ibarra.