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Cornyn, Cruz to Secretary Mayorkas: Release Files On Migrant Murder Suspect’s Immigration Parole Status

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U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) sent a letter yesterday to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas with their Senate Judiciary GOP colleagues demanding answers on how Venezuelan national, Jose Antonio Ibarra, was granted parole into the United States. Image Sources:Cruz: U.S. Senate Photographic Studio, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Cornyn: Twitter (X), Mayorkas Source: Zachary Hupp/U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) sent a letter yesterday to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas with their Senate Judiciary GOP colleagues demanding answers on how Venezuelan national, Jose Antonio Ibarra, was granted parole into the United States. Image Sources:Cruz: U.S. Senate Photographic Studio, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Cornyn: Twitter (X), Mayorkas Source: Zachary Hupp/U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) sent a letter yesterday to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas with their Senate Judiciary GOP colleagues demanding answers on how Venezuelan national, Jose Antonio Ibarra, was granted parole into the United States. By law, immigration parole is only to be granted at the discretion of the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on a case-by-case basis, in instances of “urgent humanitarian reason or significant public benefit.” Ibarra is the suspect charged in the murder of Augusta University student Laken Riley.


They wrote: “We are deeply saddened by this senseless and preventable act of violence, and we write today demanding answers about how Ibarra was allowed to enter and remain in the United States.”

“We demand that you show us your work. No later than March 8th, please provide us with a copy of the case file for Jose Antonio Ibarra, including the record showing what urgent humanitarian reason or significant public benefit justified the decision to grant him parole.”

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The full text of this letter is here and below. Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lindsey Graham (R-SC) led the letter, which was also signed by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Mike Lee (R-UT), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Tom Cotton (R-AR), John Kennedy (R-LA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

February 27, 2024

Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas 

U.S. Department of Homeland Security 

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3801 Nebraska Ave N.W. 

Washington, D.C. 20016 

Dear Secretary Mayorkas: 

According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Jose Antonio Ibarra, the suspect charged in the murder of Augusta University student Laken Riley, is a Venezuelan national who entered the United States illegally in September 2022 and was subsequently released by the Department of Homeland Security through a grant of parole. We are deeply saddened by this senseless and preventable act of violence, and we write today demanding answers about how Ibarra was allowed to enter and remain in the United States. 

Under section 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, immigration parole should only be granted on a case-by-case basis, and only if there is an urgent humanitarian reason or significant public benefit justifying a grant of parole. We have previously expressed significant doubts as to how the Department has been able to make hundreds of thousands of case-by-case determinations for parole every year, but you have assured Congress in your sworn prior testimony that the Department makes an individual determination for each individual alien granted parole. Regarding the use of parole, you testified on November 8, 2023, “We make our decision on case-by-case basis.” That must also apply to Ibarra’ s grant of parole. 

We demand that you show us your work. No later than March 8th, please provide us with a copy of the case file for Jose Antonio Ibarra, including the record showing what urgent humanitarian reason or significant public benefit justified the decision to grant him parole.

Sincerely,

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