Parents of children killed by illegal immigrants attended a roundtable at the White House Wednesday and pleaded for the passage of laws that will hold sanctuary cities and illegal immigrants accountable.
The House of Representatives is expected to vote on two anti-illegal immigration bills by the end of the week. The two pieces of legislation, Kate’s Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminal Aliens Act, would target deported illegal immigrants who return to the U.S. and cities that ignore federal immigration detainers, respectively.
“You lost the people that you love because our government refused to enforce our nation’s immigration laws,” President Trump said at opening of the meeting with the victims’ families. “For years, the pundits, journalists, politicians in Washington refused to hear your voices, but on Election Day, 2016, your voices were heard all across the entire world. Right? You better believe it. Nobody died in vain, I can tell you.”
The family members at the roundtable went on to recount the stories of their loved ones’ deaths. One man, Juan Pina, told President Trump about how his 14-year old daughter was “murdered, strangled, stabbed, sodomized” and had her nude body thrown in an artichoke field in 1990 by a twice-deported illegal immigrant.
“I think what Mr. President is trying to do here is the best thing ever,” Pina said. “We got to put our people safe.” This was a message echoed by many of the family members present.
“I’m tired of our politicians not caring about their fellow Americans,” Mary Ann Mendoza said at the roundtable. Her son Brandon was a deputy sheriff who was killed in a car accident by an illegal immigrant drunk driver.
Two other mothers present made the point that not supporting these bills meant that legislators have “blood” on their hands.
“I’m telling you these congressmen and senators that don’t vote for these laws, the blood is on their hands for the next victim,” Michelle Root said. Her daughter Sarah was killed just hours after graduating college allegedly by an drunk illegal immigrant driver. The illegal immigrant, Eswin Meijia, was previously released after being caught by the Border Patrol and then after being arrested for Root’s murder was let out of jail when local law enforcement ignored an immigration detainer. Mejia remains a fugitive to this day.
Another “angel mom,” Sabine Durden, whose son Dominick was killed by a previously deported illegal immigrant in a drunk driving accident, agreed that the lives of victims are on the hands of people who don’t support these bills. Durden also stated that she had considered suicide as she had no family left until June 2015 when Trump mentioned illegal immigration in his announcement speech.
“I dropped to my knees,” Durden said. “It was my little sign from God.”