President Donald Trump recently hosted the families of victims of illegal immigrant criminals at the White House. These are families who the left-leaning media has ignored in order to push their thinly-veiled open borders agenda. However, their stories are every bit as important as those of the families who are separated while attempting to illegally enter the United States, regardless of what the Democrats believe.
The president excoriated the lack of attention given to American families who have lost loved ones to violence committed by illegal immigrants. “They don’t want to discuss, they don’t want to hear, they don’t want to see,” he said. “No major news networks go to their homes or put images of their loved ones on the nightly news.”
Trump also criticized the lax immigration policies that led to the deaths of these Americans. “Where is the media outrage over the catch and release policy?” He asked, “Where is the condemnation of Democrats in sanctuary cities that release violent criminals into our communities?”
The family members of the victims took this opportunity to share their heartbreaking stories. Their tales reveal a tragic reality: their loved ones did not have to die.
Highlighting Victims Of Crimes
Laura Wilkerson told the story of how she lost her son Josh. She said:
“He was brutally tortured, strangled over and over. He was set on fire after death. His last hours were — was brutal. As everyone standing up here, none of our kids had a minute to say goodbye. We weren’t lucky enough to be separated for five days or ten days. We’re separated permanently. Any time we want to see or be close to our kids, we go to the cemetery, because that’s where they are. We can never speak to them. We can’t Skype with them.”
Steve Ronnebeck spoke about his son Grant, who was brutally murdered by an illegal immigrant over a pack of cigarettes while he was at work:
“An illegal alien came in wanting to buy cigarettes, dumped a jar of change out on the counter. Grant went to count the change and wasn’t counting fast enough. So, basically, this man pulled a gun. Grant did everything he was supposed to do and gave him the cigarettes. The man went ahead and executed him and shot him point blank in the face.”
Ronnebeck also lamented the fact that the media often ignores the experiences of others who have gone through the same type of painful tragedies. “You don’t hear these stories,” he said, “but this is permanent separation.”
Sabine Durden, an immigrant who came to the United States legally, also lost a child. Her son was killed by a drunk driver who was residing in the country illegally. She said:
“I protected my child from harm, but I couldn’t do that on July 12th, 2012. He was 30 years old. I couldn’t protect him because an illegal alien from Guatemala, with two felonies, one deportation, two DUIs — he was protected. Riverside, California: sanctuary. The judge, the DA, they knew who he was. They gave him probation after his second DUI. Five weeks later, he killed my child.”
Durden’s son was her only child. She was so devastated by her loss that she had considered suicide. “I was going to end my life; I had no purpose,” she said. Durden stated that when President Trump announced his candidacy and spoke out against illegal immigration, she decided to keep fighting. “But President Trump, coming down that escalator that day and talking about illegal immigration, stopped me in my track,” she said.
Victims Should Not Be Ignored
The families that spoke at the White House represent many individuals who have lost their lives as a result of the faulty immigration policies that the Trump administration is working to fix. However, the left does not focus on these people because their experiences do not support their narrative. To them, it is more important to defend evil gangs like MS-13 than it is to protect those residing legally in the U.S.
Katie Rogers penned a piece for The New York Times in which she quotes studies showing that illegal immigration does not raise the crime rate. In the piece, Rogers accuses the president of using these “angel families” to further an anti-immigrant agenda. “Inviting the families to speak to the public was another strategy for the president, who has railed against undocumented immigrants since his days on the campaign trail and whose rhetoric about them has intensified in recent days,” she wrote.
Rogers also slams the president for putting a “human face” on his efforts to combat illegal immigration. “For Mr. Trump, the stories fit perfectly into his dark message about the threats coming over the border, which whipped up his supporters at rallies and helped motivate his voters at the polls,” she wrote. “Stories from the victim’s families put a human face on Mr. Trump’s demand for a sprawling wall along the southern border.”
The author is right — studies have shown that illegal immigration does not necessarily increase crime, but that is beside the point. The reality is that if our flawed immigration policies had not allowed these individuals to enter the country illegally, these families would not have lost their children. Despite Rogers’ assertions, these people are every bit as human as the individuals who break our laws.
The separation that illegal immigrant families are experiencing at the border is temporary — many will only be away from their children for days or weeks. The families of murder victims will never hug their children again. They will never laugh with their loved ones. They won’t be able to delight in their smiles. Ms. Durden has to wear her son’s ashes in a locket — it is the only way she can feel connected to him. This is what happens when we fail to enforce our laws.
Should the government do something about family separation? Sure. But it is more important to make sure that we are controlling who enters our country. It is our government’s job to protect our borders and citizens. The angel families show what happens when we allow political correctness to dictate how we implement our policies. Now, it is time to do what every other country on the planet does: enforce our immigration laws.