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GA Gov. Brian Kemp to Biden: ‘The American people deserve to know who is illegally entering our country’

By Mandy Donalds
February 25, 2024

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has written to President Joe Biden demanding answers regarding border security after a tragic incident on a university campus in his state.

In a recent development that has stirred both political and public concern, Kemp is seeking explanations from the White House. This follows a distressing incident where a young nursing student's life was brutally cut short on the University of Georgia campus, reportedly by an undocumented migrant, as reported by Fox News.

The heartache of a young life lost

The victim, identified as 22-year-old Laken Hope Riley, was pursuing her studies in nursing when she met her untimely death. The suspect, 26-year-old Jose Antonio Ibarra, has been charged with multiple offenses, including malice and felony murder, in connection with Riley's demise.

According to several sources from ICE and DHS, as reported by Fox News, the suspect is a Venezuelan national who entered the United States illegally. Ibarra crossed the border at El Paso, Texas, in September 2022 and was later released into the U.S. on parole.

Kemp's letter to Biden, penned Saturday, is a plea for clarity and action.

The governor's correspondence with the White House underscores a deep concern for the security of the southern border and the safety of American citizens.

Kemp demands answers from the White House

"Frankly, Mr. President, your continued silence in response to these reasonable requests is outrageous," Kemp stated in his letter, which he shared publicly on social media platform X.

Kemp's message reflects a growing frustration over the lack of communication and information regarding individuals who enter the country illegally.

The letter further mentioned:

The American people deserve to know who is illegally entering our country due to your administration's failures, and what risks and challenges every state must now face.

Kemp's inquiry into the suspect's current immigration status is a critical part of his letter.

He questions the administration's urgency, or lack thereof, in sharing crucial information about individuals like Ibarra who have entered the U.S. under questionable circumstances.

Unofficial sources and the quest for information

The governor expressed his dissatisfaction with having to rely on unofficial sources and media leaks to gather information that should be readily provided by ICE and DHS officials.

Kemp's insistence on transparency is aimed at ensuring that state and local officials are well-equipped to protect their communities.

"While media reports surrounding this case have relied on sources and leaks from your own federal agencies, the answers to these basic questions must be provided publicly as soon as possible," Kemp emphasized in his correspondence.

The urgency with which Kemp is demanding answers is tied to a broader concern for national security and the prevention of future tragedies.

He asserts that securing the southern border is imperative to prevent incidents like the one that claimed Riley's life from happening elsewhere in the country.

The White House's stance on immigration reform

In response to Kemp's demands and the broader discourse on immigration, the White House has pointed to political obstacles.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre highlighted the administration's efforts to work with both Republican and Democratic senators to forge a bipartisan solution to what President Biden has termed a "broken" immigration system.

Jean-Pierre stated:

For the past several months, we worked with Republican senators and also Democrats in the Senate to try to come up with a fair and tough piece of legislation that would deal with border security.

Despite these efforts, a proposed bipartisan deal endorsed by the Border Patrol union was met with resistance, notably declared "dead on arrival" by Speaker Johnson, according to Jean-Pierre. This has added another layer of complexity to the ongoing debate over border security and immigration reform.

A community in mourning and a call to action

The loss of Laken Hope Riley has not only left a community in mourning but has also reignited a contentious debate over border security and immigration policies in the United States.

Kemp's letter to Biden is more than a request for information; it is a call to action aimed at preventing future tragedies through more robust border security measures and transparent communication.

The case of Jose Antonio Ibarra, now in custody and facing serious charges, serves as a poignant reminder of the real-world implications of immigration policy and border security. As the investigation into Riley's death continues, the dialogue between state and federal authorities on these issues remains critically important.

Kemp's office, as of the latest updates, has not received a direct response from the White House regarding the governor's inquiries. The dialogue, or lack thereof, between Georgia's state leadership and the federal government underscores the complexities and challenges of addressing immigration and border security in today's political climate.


  • Governor Kemp's letter to President Biden demands answers and action on border security.
  • The tragic incident involving Laken Hope Riley has sparked a broader debate on immigration policies and safety.
  • The White House points to political challenges in achieving bipartisan immigration reform.
  • The need for transparent communication and robust border security measures is emphasized.