Brother of slain New­man of­fi­cer joins Trump in visit to the bor­der

Merced Sun-Star - - News - BY PATTY GUERRA [email protected]­bee.com The As­so­ci­ated Press con­trib­uted to this re­port.

The death of New­man Po­lice Cpl. Ronil Singh again took cen­ter stage in the de­bate over Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s bor­der wall Thursday, with Singh’s brother, Reg­gie, ap­pear­ing with the pres­i­dent in a visit to Texas.

Reg­gie Singh told the story of his brother, who em­i­grated from Fiji and pur­sued his life­long dream of be­com­ing a law en­force­ment of­fi­cer. Ronil Singh was gunned down in the early morn­ing hours of Dec. 26 dur­ing a traf­fic stop of a sus­pected drunken driver.

The man ac­cused of killing Singh, Paulo Vir­gen Men­doza, was in the United States il­le­gally, au­thor­i­ties have said. He was cap­tured af­ter a 55-hour man­hunt; sev­eral peo­ple al­leged to have helped in Men­doza’s escape also are in the United States il­le­gally, au­thor­i­ties have said.

“The way he was killed, what my fam­ily’s go­ing through right now, I do not want any other fam­ily law en­force­ment per­son to go through that,” Reg­gie Singh said, seated at a ta­ble next to Trump dur­ing a roundtable dis­cus­sion at a bor­der pa­trol sta­tion in McAllen, Texas. “Whatever it takes to min­i­mize, put a stop to it, my fam­ily fully sup­ports it.”

Trump has used the case re­peat­edly as he ar­gues for fund­ing for a wall along the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der, in­clud­ing in an ad­dress to the coun­try Tuesday night.

Sit­ting be­tween bor­der pa­trol of­fi­cers, lo­cal of­fi­cials and mil­i­tary rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Trump in­sisted that he was “winning” the shut­down fight as he seeks money for the wall that’s been his sig­na­ture prom­ise since his pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

McAllen is in the Rio Grande Val­ley, the busi­est part of the bor­der for il­le­gal bor­der cross­ings. Sev­eral hun­dred pro­test­ers were chant­ing and wav­ing signs op­pos­ing a bor­der wall next to the South Texas air­port where Trump was set to ar­rive. Across the street, a smaller group of pro­test­ers shouted back, chant­ing, “Build that wall!”

And in Wash­ing­ton, fed­eral work­ers de­nounced Trump at a rally with con­gres­sional Democrats, de­mand­ing he re­open the govern­ment so they can get back to work and re­ceive their pay­checks.

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