A Timeline of Tragedy

Dan O’Donnell weaves the story of how Laken Riley’s killer illegally entered the country and committed multiple crimes with nearly two years of Biden Administration assurances that the southern border is secure.

Feb. 28, 2024
Perspective by Dan O’Donnell

September 8th, 2022. A 24-year-old Venezuelan man named Jose Antonio Ibarra illegally crosses into the United States in the El Paso border sector and is apprehended by Border Patrol agents but released.

The very next day, Vice President Kamala Harris does an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“Would you call the border secure?” host Chuck Todd asks her.

“The border is secure,” she assures him.

In a press briefing a few days later, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre agrees with that assessment and tells reporters, “We have taken unprecedented action over the past year and a half to secure our border, and we built a safer and orderly process system.”

September 20th, 2022.  President Biden is asked about why there is a much greater flow of illegal immigrants into the country on his watch.  He rejects this characterization but laments the sudden influx of illegal immigrants from “Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua” and claims that “the ability to send them back to those states is not rational.”

Meanwhile, Jose Ibarra, his wife, and her young son find that life in America is much preferable to Venezuela, and they set off for New York City.  For the next year, they receive taxpayer-funded food and shelter and post smiling pictures of themselves to social media.  On September 12th, 2023, Democratic Congressman Dan Goldman tells New Yorkers that the unprecedented arrival of illegal aliens isn’t a threat to their safety.

“Do you not think that the migrant crisis or the southern border situation is at all a threat to New Yorkers?” a reporter asks him.

“I don’t think it’s any more of a threat to New Yorkers than domestic violent extremism or other threats,” Goldman answers.

Just two days later, Jose Ibarra is arrested in Queens for driving without a license and causing an injury to his wife’s child.  He is released from custody and, in an apparent effort to avoid charges in New York, heads down to Athens, Georgia to meet up with his brother, Diego, who is also an illegal immigrant.

A few days later, Diego Ibarra is arrested in Athens-Clarke County for DUI, driving without a license, speeding, having and open container of alcohol, and failing to yield to an emergency vehicle. A week after that, On October 5th, President Biden is asked about whether he believes a border wall is necessary to stop illegal immigration into this country.

“No,” is his one-word answer.

October 27th, 2023.  The Ibarra brothers are arrested and cited for shoplifting, but because Athens (like New York) is a sanctuary community, neither one is referred to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and both are set free.  A week later, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies that the situation at the southern border is not a disaster.

“So, the situation at the border you’re saying is not a disaster?” an incredulous Republican Congresswoman Cindy Hyde-Smith asks him.

“That is correct,” Mayorkas replies.

December 20th, 2023.  Jose Ibarra fails to show up in court on his shoplifting charges and a bench warrant is issued for his arrest.  The very next day, Karine Jean Pierre reassures reporters that the situation at the border is not all that unusual.

“What we’re seeing here at the border, the migration flow, increased migration flows, certainly, it ebbs and flows,” she explains.  “And were at a time of the year where we’re seeing more at the border, and it’s not unusual.”

January 8th, 2024.  Mayorkas again claims that the border is secure and says it’s a lie that the Biden Administration is not enforcing immigration laws.

“Some have accused [his Department of Homeland Security] of not enforcing our nation’s laws,” he says.  “This could not be further from the truth.”

February 13th, 2024.   Mayorkas is impeached, something Jean-Pierre calls “baseless and shameful” because he is doing the best he can to keep the border secure.

Just nine days later, a 22-year-old Augusta University nursing student named Laken Riley is reported missing after she failed to return home after a jog.  A few hours later, her body is discovered long a wooded trail.

The very next day, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accuses Republicans of lying about any sort of crisis at the southern border.

“As xenophobic and anti-immigrant as they are, [they] are ginning up this false narrative about this being a crisis,” she tells MSNBC’s Alex Wagner.

The following morning, Jose Ibarra is arrested charged with Laken Riley’s murder.  He faces a slew of charges, including malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, hindering a 911 call, and concealing the death of another person.  An arrest affidavit alleges that he killed her through blunt force trauma that ended up “disfiguring her skull.”

Riley’s family and friends are devastated.  An intelligent, beautiful, and loving young woman is gone, brutally killed by a man who should never have been in this country and who should have been in jail and prepared for deportation multiple times.

But for nearly two years, he wasn’t.  He and his brother were moving around the country freely, committing crimes wherever they went secure in the knowledge that they would never face punishment.  And all the while, President Biden, members of his administration and elected Democrats have been swearing to the public that there is no crisis at the southern border.

Only Laken Riley was punished; paying with her life for that lie.

February 28th, 2024.  Today.  The day that America hopefully, finally wakes up, demands the truth and, far more importantly, demands protection from monsters like Jose Ibarra.