Congressman Andy Biggs will be bringing Pamela Foster as his guest to the State of the Union.
Foster is the mother of 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike and her nine-year-old brother, who were both abducted by a stranger on the Navajo Nation reservation in May of 2016. Ian was able to escape their abductor, walking miles through the desert to flag down a passing motorist for help. He later led authorities to his sister who was found tragically sexually assaulted and murdered.
Ms. Foster's remarkable courage in fighting for passage of the AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act has the potential of saving many children. pic.twitter.com/wTZQCqpM7K
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) May 25, 2017
In the aftermath of Ashlynne’s murder, it was determined that an AMBER Alert was not issued for many hours after her abduction. Sadly, tribal officers did not have the immediate means of requesting an alert because of an oversight in the original legislation. Pamela and her family learned that it is crucial that officials immediately assess the circumstances of the abduction, deploy resources, and alert the public to increase the probability of safely locating the child before they are harmed. This tragedy brought home the lesson that the AMBER Alert is the tool that supports this process and improves the chances of safely recovering the abducted child.
Pamela now lives in Southern California with her children where she focuses on their healing and works as a strong advocate, leading a grass roots effort to encourage Native American communities to adopt AMBER Alert plans and develop programs to protect children from predators. She is active in tribal communities, engaging tribal leaders and government officials to implement legislation to provide access to the AMBER Alert program for tribes across the country.
“I am honored to have been invited by Congressman Andy Biggs to be his guest to attend President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on January 30, 2018, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. I will be there to bring attention to the need for Congress to act on passing the AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act. Since the tragic death of my daughter, Ashlynne Mike, I have been fighting for this protection to be enacted into LAW, and I am thankful that it is moving through the legislative process. I thank Congressman Andy Biggs for his leadership on this issue and the House Judiciary Committee for voting on this legislation. I am also grateful to Senator John McCain for introducing this legislation and passing it in the Senate. It is such an honor to attend this historical event, and I hope to use my time in Washington advocating for passage of this legislation in the House so that President Trump can sign it into law.” – Ms. Pamela Foster
“It has been a privilege to fight with Ms. Foster for the passage of the AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act, and I am honored to have her as my guest for the State of the Union. I believe that we are extremely close to passing this lifesaving law. No child – regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, or birthplace – should be outside the protection and jurisdiction of the AMBER Alert system,” said Congressman Biggs.