UGA student's death adds fuel to the culture war fire

The fact that the suspect is an undocumented migrant has eclipsed the story of her murder

barbed wire fense with broken glass bottles and an american flag
The murder has renewed focus on securing America's southern border
(Image credit: Luis Diaz Devesa / Getty Images)

A killing on the campus of the University of Georgia has sparked outrage across the country, reigniting a firestorm about immigration policy in the United States. Last week, the body of Laken Riley, a junior at Augusta University College of Nursing, was discovered in a wooded area on UGA's campus in Athens. The tragedy gained national attention after police arrested a suspect, Jose Antonio Ibarra, an undocumented migrant from Venezuela who crossed the southern border in September 2022.

"This was a very isolated incident," University of Georgia Police Chief Jeff Clark said at a news conference. "We haven't had a homicide at the University of Georgia in almost 30 years."

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