Second Asylum Seeker From Venezuela Accused of Felony, This Time in Virginia for Sexual Assault of a Minor

Police arrested the suspect, accused of sexual assault of a minor, just days after an American nursing student was allegedly killed by a Venezuelan migrant in Georgia.

AP/Christian Chavez
Migrants walk towards the American border at Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on December 19, 2022. AP/Christian Chavez

Another Venezuelan asylum-seeker has been arrested for committing a violent crime, Virginia law enforcement has announced. The news comes just days after a Georgia nursing student, Laken Riley, was allegedly murdered by another Venezuelan who crossed the southern border in 2022. 

On Monday, Venezuelan migrant Renzo Mendoza Montes — who, according to authorities is in the country illegally — was arrested in Virginia for sexual assault against a minor. He faces two felony charges.

Mr. Montes, 32, crossed the border in 2023 and was released on parole by Immigration and Customs Enforcement pending a hearing on his asylum claim.  

This comes just four days after the murder of Riley, who was attacked while jogging near the University of Georgia campus at Athens. Her alleged killer, Jose Antonio Ibarra, also is a Venezuelan migrant. 

Mr. Ibarra and his brother Diego Ibarra both have criminal histories here in America, and both faced charges in New York before moving to Georgia last year. 

The congressman who represents Athens says that Riley is dead because New York City is a sanctuary jurisdiction that refused to notify immigration authorities when the migrant was arrested last year. 

“If New York City had called @ICEgovernment on Jose Antonio Ibarra and said ‘We have a criminal alien in custody for injury to a minor. Come get him,’ Laken Riley would be alive,” wrote Congressman Mike Collins. “Sanctuary jurisdictions get Americans killed.”

Governor Kemp wrote to the White House on Saturday asking for answers about why the White House and the Department of Homeland Security are not more forcefully going after migrants who are committing crimes while awaiting asylum hearings. 

“Laken Riley’s tragic death struck the hearts of Georgians everywhere and has rightfully sparked national outrage,” Mr. Kemp wrote in a letter to the president. “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.”

On Monday, the White House finally released a statement on Riley’s death — four days after it happened. “We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Laken Hope Riley. People should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law if they are found to be guilty. Given this is an active case, we would have to refer you to state law enforcement and ICE.”

The New York Sun

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