Families of victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants are standing up in support of Donald Trump.
The latest example came at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, when a mother of a teenager killed by an immigrant without legal permission to live in the United States thanked Trump for saying that Mexican immigrants are drug-runners and “rapists.”
“[T]hank you to Mr. Trump for getting a message out about the nation in two minutes that … families like my own have been trying to say for five to six years,” Laura Wilkerson said.
“It feels good to be heard, whether you love him or whether you don’t, I felt heard,” Wilkerson added.
She’s not the first family member of a victim to thank Trump.
Earlier this month, Trump brought onstage Jamiel Shaw, whose son was killed by an immigrant without legal permission to live in the US. Shaw praised the real-estate mogul and said he’d be supporting Trump’s candidacy.
“Mr. Trump is willing to go out and sacrifice his life. He doesn’t need money. He doesn’t need the power,” Shaw said earlier this month. “I trust Donald Trump.”
“I see him almost like a dad,” Shaw later added. “He’s a nice guy.”
The same week that Trump brought Shaw onstage, the reality television star met with families of victims of crimes committed by immigrants living in the US without proper documentation.
The murder of a woman in San Francisco allegedly by an immigrant living in the US illegally has galvanised the GOP presidential field into action on the issue of “sanctuary cities,” which do not obey requests from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold inmates.
Katherine Steinle, 32, was allegedly killed by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who had been recently released from law enforcement custody even though the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency had put out a detention order for him.
Most of the GOP candidates have denounced San Francisco, a “sanctuary city,” for refusing to obey requests from ICE to indefinitely hold inmates beyond their detention date.
Republican candidates like Sens. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have both introduced legislation that would partially cut funding to cities that do not comply with ICE, even though several courts have ruled that the detainer requests are unconstitutional.
During the Senate hearing on Tuesday, Cruz promoted his anti-sanctuary cities legislation, and personally greeted some of the victims’ families.
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