Mayorkas faces tough questions on Laken Riley during Senate hearing

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas appeared on Capitol Hill a day after the Senate rejected Articles of Impeachment against him

The secretary got an icy reception from Senate Republicans who have pinned the immigration crisis at the southern border squarely at his feet.  

What was supposed to be a hearing on the Biden administration’s budget before the Senate Homeland Security Committee turned into a heated discussion on immigration. One issue which arose was that of the murder of Laken Riley. Undocumented immigrant Jose Ibarra is accused of killing Riley on the University of Georgia campus in February. 

Senators Josh Hawley and Rand Paul questioned Mayorkas about the decision to grant Ibarra's parole in 2022. 

"First and foremost, all of our hearts break for the family of Ms. Riley. Secondly, the perpetrator of this heinous crime act needs to meet justice to the fullest extent of the law. And I will not comment on the particulars of the case because the matter is being prosecuted by authorities now," Mayorkas told senators. 

"Nothing has been done about this individual. He had a criminal record to begin with and is illegally in the country. You have falsely and illegally allowed him to enter, and then he committed a crime against a child. Yet, he has not been prosecuted; instead, the charges have been expunged," said Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri. 

Later in the hearing Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff called out Republicans for refusing to support a bipartisan border security bill.  

"All of the performative chest-pounding today on border security is utterly disingenuous when Senate Republicans abrogated their basic governing responsibilities and refused even to let us debate and amend that bipartisan border security proposal," Sen. Ossoff said. 

Ibarra is being held in the Clarke County Jail without bond. 

This story is being reported out of Atlanta. The Associated Press contributed to this report.