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Has US Become a Dumping Ground for Criminal Migrants?

Venezuela halts criminal re-entry.

Last week, Georgians were shocked when nursing student Laken Riley was murdered near the University of Georgia campus. The alleged killer, Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, is an illegal immigrant from Venezuela. Several violent crimes have been linked to Venezuelan migrants across the country; however, President Nicolás Maduro is refusing to cooperate with the United States to deport his citizens since the Biden administration reimposed some economic sanctions.

In October 2023, the White House and Venezuela struck a deal to fly illegal immigrants directly back to their home country. President Joe Biden lifted sanctions imposed during Donald Trump’s administration on the oil industry and other sectors. Some 1,800 Venezuelans were returned to their native nation. Last month, though, Washington pulled back on business transactions and promised more action if a fair presidential election wasn’t held in Venezuela. On Feb. 13, the White House reimposed sanctions on the country’s gold sector, and now Maduro is refusing to cooperate with deportations.

Violent Venezuelan Migrants

It’s to be expected – the more people entering the United States illegally, the more opportunity for crimes. Violent incidents linked to Venezuelan migrants have authorities concerned, especially since the criminals can’t be deported. Remember the group that attacked New York City police officers? They are reportedly Venezuelan nationals. In the Big Apple, the police have their hands full trying to crack down on the Venezuelan gang Tren de Aragua that has been committing robberies and retail theft.

Also in NYC, a 15-year-old Venezuelan migrant at a sports clothing store shot at a security guard but instead hit a tourist in the leg. In Chicago, four illegal immigrants from the country were arrested for allegedly robbing and beating a man on a train, reported Fox News.

New Banner Illegal ImmigrationIn a bizarre twist, some of the undocumented have told Chicago police they are committing crimes just to be deported back to their country. In a recent poll by Pax Sapiens, more than 65% of Venezuelans say they would go back to their country if Maduro doesn’t win the upcoming election, according to Bloomberg News, while only 15% say they would if the current leader remains in office.

Some native Venezuelans are willing to return home since the rate of violent deaths in the country has dropped to its lowest in more than 20 years due to massive emigration of both criminals and victims, Bloomberg explained. Roberto Briceño León, director of the Observatory, said in a webcast in December that the crime rate is at its lowest since 2001 and is one-third of what it was in 2016. “Young people, who have traditionally been the main victims of violence, have fled, while criminals and gangs have emigrated due to the lack of opportunities to commit crimes, according to Briceño León,” the outlet noted.

The murder of 22-year-old Laken Riley has hit the political spotlight. NewsNation reporter Ali Bradley wrote on X that the suspect, Ibarra, crossed illegally by El Paso, TX, in September 2022, although this has not been officially confirmed. Rep. Mike Collins (R-GA) posted on X that Biden and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas were responsible, as well as Athens’ sanctuary city status. Observed Newsweek:

“The blood of Laken Riley is on the hands of Joe Biden, Alejandro Mayorkas, and the government of Athens-Clarke County. The Venezuelan suspect in Laken Riley’s murder is one of millions of illegal aliens that the Biden administration has released into this country to be welcomed with open arms by Democrat-run sanctuary jurisdictions. This man had no business being in America, much less the UGA community to brutally murder this young American while she was on a run.”

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said in a statement:

“Laken Riley’s tragic death struck the hearts of Georgians everywhere and has rightfully sparked national outrage. As I have said many times before: every state is now a border state because of Joe Biden’s inaction, and today I am again demanding answers and information from the Biden Administration that will help us protect our citizens when the federal government will not.”

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said on Fox News’ America Reports, “I am completely disgusted. My heart breaks for this family. But more than that, it makes me angry at Joe Biden that he refuses to really go and make this a No. 1 priority.” However, Sen. Jason Esteves (D-GA) posted on X that “Laken Riley’s family deserves space to grieve without being used for cheap political points. Those who bring up border security should take that up with Trump, who recently whipped Republicans in DC into shelving a bipartisan border security bill.”

Even with Biden’s deal with Maduro, a vast majority of Venezuelan migrants were not deported. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) stated that a little more than 830 illegals were deported in fiscal year 2023, yet border authorities encountered 335,000 Venezuelans in the same time frame.

And what happens if other countries refuse to allow their criminal citizens to be returned, too?

Read More From Kelli Ballard

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