Trump urges pas­sage of bills crack­ing down on il­le­gal im­mi­grant crim­i­nals.

Vic­tims of im­mi­grant crime voiced sup­port

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY S.A. MILLER

Sur­rounded by fam­ily mem­bers of peo­ple killed by il­le­gal im­mi­grants, Pres­i­dent Trump urged Congress on Wed­nes­day to pass two bills that would crack down on il­le­gal-im­mi­grant crim­i­nals and sanc­tu­ary cities.

Cham­pi­oning the vic­tims of il­le­gal-im­mi­grant crime was a hall­mark of Mr. Trump’s pres­i­den­tial run, and he vowed Wed­nes­day fol­low through by quickly sign­ing the bills when they reach his desk.

“You lost the peo­ple that you love be­cause our govern­ment re­fused to en­force our na­tion’s im­mi­gra­tion laws and that’s in­clud­ing the ex­ist­ing im­mi­gra­tion laws,” he said at the round­table meet­ing in the White House.

More than a dozen vic­tims joined Mr. Trump to push the leg­is­la­tion, which faces op­po­si­tion from Democrats.

“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. No one died in vain I can tell you that,” said the pres­i­dent.

Julie Golvach, whose 25-year-old son Spencer was gunned down in 2015 by an il­le­gal im­mi­grant dur­ing a mass shoot­ing, de­manded ac­tion.

“I want some ac­tion. If this was done years ago, my son would still be here,” said Mrs. Golvach, one of sev­eral fam­ily mem­bers who told their story at the meet­ing with the pres­i­dent.

Her son, who owned a gui­tar shop in Hous­ton, was shot in the head as he sat in his car at a traf­fic light. The shooter, Vic­tor Reyes, was a Mex­i­can il­le­gal im­mi­grant who had been de­ported four times and had a crim­i­nal rap sheet stretch­ing back 15 years.

“We lost ev­ery­thing. He was my only child,” she said, her voice crack­ing. “I want some ac­tion so no­body else has to go through the loss that we feel.”

Mr. Trump called on all mem­bers of Congress to “honor griev­ing Amer­i­can fam­i­lies by pass­ing these life-sav­ing mea­sures.”

One of the bills sched­uled for a vote this week is Kate’s Law, named af­ter Kate Steinle, who was fa­tally shot in San Fran­cisco while walk­ing along the water­front with her fa­ther in July 2015.

Her slay­ing came just days af­ter Mr. Trump an­nounced his pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, and he quickly seized on her death as a sym­bol of the prob­lems in U.S. im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy.

Kate’s Law would im­pose strict penal­ties on il­le­gal im­mi­grant crim­i­nals who re­turn to the U.S. af­ter de­por­ta­tion.

The other bill is the No Sanc­tu­ary for Crim­i­nals Act, which would pe­nal­ize ju­ris­dic­tions that do not co­op­er­ate with fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment.

The White House also brought act­ing ICE Di­rec­tor Thomas D. Ho­man to ad­vo­cate for the two bills at a brief­ing with re­porters.

Mr. Ho­man gave an im­pas­sioned pitch, fight­ing back tears as he re­called find­ing a dead 5-year-old boy in the back of a trac­tor trailer smug­gling in il­le­gal im­mi­grants. The boy who died of suf­fo­ca­tion in his fa­ther’s arms could have been spared un­der the pend­ing leg­is­la­tion, he said.

“How do you think that 5-year-old felt his last 10 min­utes of his life look­ing at his fa­ther that couldn’t help him, or his fa­ther look­ing at his child that’s dy­ing in his arms [and] can’t help him?” he said. “These or­ga­ni­za­tions are cal­lous.”

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