Katie Porter says Georgia killing ‘shouldn’t shape our overall immigration policy’

Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) said Monday the “horrible” killing of a nursing student on the University of Georgia campus should not inform the entirety of U.S. immigration policy.

“I think whenever we’re dealing with violent crime, there is a sense of outrage, of sadness and loss,” Porter, who’s running for Senate in California, said during an interview on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”

“But I think the important thing to focus on is any one instance shouldn’t shape our overall immigration policy, which has so many different facets, including economic choices about what workers to allow and how to create prosperity in America,” she added.

The killing of 22-year-old nursing student Laken Riley, who was found dead Thursday after her roommate reported she didn’t return from a morning run on the University of Georgia campus, has sparked outrage and further amplified calls for immigration reform.

The suspect in Riley’s death, Jose Ibarra, 26, is a Venezuelan citizen who U.S. authorities say crossed into the U.S. unlawfully in 2022, The Associated Press reported. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said he was detained when the crossed the border and then released for further processing.

ICE said Ibarra was later arrested in New York by local police and charged with acting in a manner to injure a child less than 17 and a motor vehicle license violation, the AP reported. ICE said Ibarra was then released before it could intervene and ask New York police to hold him until immigration officials could take him into custody. New York officials, however, said they have no record of the arrest, according to the AP.

Some Republicans have used the killing as an opportunity to attack President Biden and Democrats on immigration.

Porter cautioned against doing so.

“The situation is tragic, and it’s a loss, and it’s important to acknowledge that, but also to recognize all the other how all the other parts of immigration policy fit together,” she said.

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