Sanctuary City Policies Blamed for Tragic Murder of Georgia Nursing Student, Critics Hold Former Mayor and City Council Accountable

ATHENS, Georgia – Critics are blaming sanctuary city policies in New York City for the tragic murder of Georgia nursing student Laken Riley. Advocates claim that former Mayor Bill de Blasio and left-wing members of the City Council have “blood on their hands” for pushing these policies. Riley, 22, was found dead on the University of Georgia‚Äôs campus on February 22. Her alleged killer, Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, had been arrested in Queens six months prior and charged with endangering a child. However, due to the migrant-friendly changes made to the sanctuary city policy, the NYPD was unable to hand Ibarra over to federal immigration officials since he had no major crime convictions.

Critics argue that New York City’s stance on sanctuary cities prioritizes the protection of criminals over the safety of its citizens. Queens Councilman Robert Holden calls the situation “outrageous” and insists that laws protecting criminals at the expense of New Yorkers must be repealed. Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli also believes that Riley’s death could have been prevented if it weren’t for the city’s sanctuary city rules.

Former Mayor de Blasio, however, denies that the NYPD had previous encounters with Ibarra. He acknowledges that Riley’s death is heartbreaking but emphasizes the need for tougher border policies and comprehensive immigration reform. Melissa Mark-Viverito, the former City Council speaker, is also proud of the laws they implemented to protect migrants and dismisses criticism from critics like Holden.

Holden and Borelli are now planning to introduce legislation that would repeal the sanctuary city rules. However, the approval of such a measure may prove challenging, even if current Mayor Eric Adams supports it. Adams recently called for the rules to be loosened, allowing migrants accused of serious crimes to be turned over to ICE.

In response, Council Speaker Adrienne Adams rejected the idea, stating that the progressive Democratic majority of the Council would not consider any rule changes. This sets the stage for a potential clash over the future of New York City’s sanctuary city policies.

As the debate continues, advocates for stricter immigration policies argue that tragedies like Riley’s death could have been avoided if not for the city’s sanctuary city laws. The call for a reevaluation of these policies aims to prioritize public safety and protect law-abiding citizens. However, opponents argue that the laws serve a necessary purpose in protecting migrants and maintaining a more inclusive society.