Crime Victims Tell Lawmakers, Toughen Immigration Before Saving DACA

Members of Advocates for Victims of Illegal Alien Crime, holding pictures of family members they have lost, urged lawmakers to get tough on immigration enforcement before protecting DACA recipients. (Photo by Ariana Bustos/Cronkite News)

By Philip Athey

WASHINGTON – A Mesa woman whose son was killed by an undocumented immigrant in a drunken driving accident was in Washington Tuesday to tell lawmakers that border security and immigration enforcement must come before any “amnesty” bills.

Mary Ann Mendoza, joined by sheriffs from around the country and others who lost a family member to an undocumented immigrant, said at a news conference that before any deal to protect DACA recipients, Congress should beef up border security and fund a border wall.

“Pass Kate’s law (to toughen penalties on repeat border crossers), pass No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, end sanctuary cities and states, increase interior enforcement and secure our borders,” Mendoza said. “Then and only then can we have a discussion about DACA or dreamers.”

The news conference by Advocates for Victims of Illegal Alien Crime comes as Congress is grappling with a March 5 deadline for the expiration of DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protects young immigrants who were brought here illegally as children.

Lawmakers also face a Thursday midnight deadline to pass a budget and keep the government open, negotiations that could be complicated by the fight over DACA.

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he would “love to see a shutdown” if Congress does not send him the immigration reform measure he wants.

“If we don’t get rid of these loopholes where killers come into our country and continue to kill … I’d love to see a shutdown,” he said during a White House meeting to discuss the Salvadoran gang, MS-13.

Trump this month released a framework for immigration reform that called for $25 billion for a border wall, an end to the visa lottery and to family-based migration, as well as a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million DACA recipients, also called Dreamers.

-Cronkite News video by Ariana Bustos

But members of Mendoza’s group said Trump’s plan would still give too much to undocumented immigrants.

“We were extremely disappointed by the framework that was set up that basically gives amnesty to anywhere from 1.8 to probably 3 million people,” said Don Rosenberg, president of AVIAC. “And if it ever happens a wall gets built, that leaves all the people in this country that are here illegally and committing crimes and killing people every day still here.”

Mendoza’s son, Mesa Police Sgt. Brandon Mendoza, was on his way home from work early on the morning of May 14, 2014, when he was hit and killed by drunken driver who was in this country illegally.

His death spurred her to help create AVIAC with others who have lost loved ones from crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. Five other members of the group were on hand Tuesday.

“As far as we’re concerned nothing should be done about DACA dreamers or any other person in the country illegally until those issues are taken care of,” Rosenberg said.

Group members were no happier with a bipartisan plan put forward this week by Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Chris Coons, D-Delaware. The plan expands the number of immigrants eligible for DACA and give them a path to citizenship, while calling for increased funding for personnel and technology to secure the border – but excludes funds for any border wall.

“You know, McCain, he’s just irrelevant to me right now,” Mendoza said. “He’s out of touch with reality if he doesn’t think this country needs a secure border, which means a fence, which means a wall.”

Mendoza said politicians in Washington are “stepping over the biggest piece of the puzzle, American victims of illegal alien crimes.”

About Cronkite News 2349 Articles
Cronkite News is the news division of Arizona PBS. The daily news products are produced by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. Arpaio Must Bow Out! Joe, by splitting the conservative vote you create great risk that a democrat will take Flake’s senate seat. Joe, the record will verify my contributions to your various election campaigns and your legal defense fund, but you will lose my respect if you fail to see that this Senate election is not your time and place. I laud your strength and your commitment to public service and look forward to your continuing contribution, but it MUST be in a different endeavor, PLEASE!

  2. I think a DACA deal is a reality that will make – no deal – no legislation – how D.C. works – not a great solution, but a solution that is better than no solution. Green Eggs and Ham no doubt.

  3. Brandon Mendoza, Dominic Durbin, Kate Steinle, Shayley Estes, Grant Ronnebeck, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, and hundreds of other US citizens have been murdered by illegal aliens and some DACA recipients. There is no excuse for our borders being porous. Militarize it now and strictly enforce the immigration laws. That would require the identification and deportation of ALL illegal aliens. Email all congressmen, the President, every elected person and demand this now.


    • A few months ago the DACA schemers took away the microphone and chased Democrat Party leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi to the back of the “bus” (the stage, actually) because she was not 100% on board with refusing ANY bill to regularize DACA illegal immigrants UNLESS the bill also guaranteed amnesty to ALL the many millions of other illegals in America. Obviously Nancy and the rest of the Democrat Party leaders caved to these illegal immigrant schemers, who are using the plight of the DACA illegals for their own purposes, and now exclusively represents illegal immigrants, not American CITIZENS. That is ONE of the reasons there may be a government shutdown on Friday. The other reason is that President Trump stands tough and will not cave or be bamboozled by the illegal schemers, Nancy Pelosi, little Chuckie Schumer and Arizona Sen`s crazy Flake and McCain in Congress and their propagandists in the media. Meanwhile, Governor Ducey is spending Arizonan`s tax dollars to teach Mexican truck drivers how to cross our borders with less hassle. What authority does Governor Ducey have to spend our tax dollars to train Mexican citizens and why isn`t the Mexican government bearing the cost of training its citizens?


  6. McCain & Flake need to resign now. They represent illegals instead of citizens. No wonder they have F grades from Numbers USA. Their score is same as Dem O’Halleran’s. Shameful.

    • Mc and McFlake are just “D”s with an “R” cloaking device on – The “R” factor being the second “R” party, I call the second deep state.. they don’t want to lose their grip on their wangs ya know… they love to play with ‘themselves’ and tell us how conservative they are, how wonderful they are, how ‘they’ did, ‘this & that’ when reality is they can’t chew gum and talk at the same time, had years to come with solutions and put their thumb in their bum and said what good boys they are… and they wonder how Trump got elected.. DUH!

  7. Sorry ladies, but to liberals, raped and killed/murdered white people are just part of the cost of having their ‘golden nuggets’ and all the federal and local tax dollars confiscated from the populace that follow them. Add on the potential of registering the ‘golden nuggets’ as Democrats and they couldn’t care less about you, your family members or any other American.

    • What again…. now you have hit the point dead on the head – this is about democrat votes at any cost – even if that ‘any’ is the loss of you or your family member. This is where the ‘few’ has become the ‘far to many instances’ to be overlooked as collateral damage. The continuous onslaught of incidences has now left a mark that many find unacceptable – so much so that those that did come over, illegal but with ‘good intent’ (are still illegal) and their brothers have cast such poor light on them, its unsustainable! To bad for them… guess it is in some instances – but fact remains it’s ‘TO LATE’ for these many and many more that have suffered the losses they have from the ‘dark side’ of those illegals that come for no other reason than to commit crime, live criminal lives… the consequences are as they present. Thinking back, as many Mexicans used to cross – and I’m thinking many years back – this criminal element was not as it is today – evil is now – we don’t need to import more than our own domestic evil ; we have enough of our own.

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