Families Rally For Border Enforcement, As Trump Eases Wall Demands

By Daniel Perle

WASHINGTON – One day after President Donald Trump stepped back from demands for border wall funding in the next budget, family members of people killed by undocumented immigrants rallied Friday to demand tougher enforcement of immigration laws.

The “Angel Families” rally on the Capitol grounds was held to convince Washington that illegal immigration “is a problem,” said Mary Ann Mendoza, who founded the group after her son was killed by a drunken and drugged driver who was in this county illegally.

“We do not have an agenda, we don’t have a reason to lie, I’m not telling you I’m affiliated with either party I’m telling you as your fellow American that this is a problem,” Mendoza told dozens of family members, lawmakers and advocates.

Even though the group is not affiliated with either party, support for Trump ran high at the event Friday. Among those in attendance was former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who repeated earlier statements that Trump is his hero.

That enthusiasm did not appear to be dimmed by Trump statements to reporters Thursday night and again Friday morning that he was backing off an earlier threat to shut down the government if there was not funding for a border wall in the next budget. The president said he is willing to hold off on the issue until after the November elections.

“There are a lot of politicians that I like and respect and are with me all the way that would rather not do it because they have races, they’re doing well, they’re up,” Trump told reporters Friday, according to a White House pool report. “The way they look at it, might be good, might be bad.”

But he did not ease up on his insistence that a wall be built, saying he is considering using military funds for the wall if necessary.

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“We have two options – we have military, we have Homeland Security,” Trump said. “I’d rather get it through politically. If we don’t, I’m looking at that option very seriously.”

Donald Kerwin, executive director of the Center for Migration Studies, said while he sympathizes with any family’s grief, an enforcement-only approach will not work. Kerwin said any immigration reform needs to keep in mind both the business need for foreign workers here as well as the undocumented people who have been living in the country long-term.

“The issue is we need to legalize and rationalize our immigration system,” Kerwin said, adding that undocumented immigrants are actually less likely to commit crime than native-born citizens.

But those at the Angel Families rally disagreed, with Mendoza saying it’s not a matter of if but when an undocumented immigrant commits a crime against a U.S. citizen.

Arpaio said illegal immigration is a problem, but the amount of transborder drug trafficking is an even bigger one.

Arpaio said he did not intend to use the families’ grief for political purposes, but had to “get the politicians to do something.” But he was “disappointed” that the family of Mollie Tibbetts, who police say was murdered by an undocumented immigrant, have said they do not want her death to be used for political ends.

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, was one of several House Republicans at the event Friday pushing a variety of get-tough immigration bills. He talked about his own bill, which calls for creating a separate fund for the proposed border wall, but said House leaders have taken action to delay it by assigning it to seven different committees for review.

Biggs called Trump’s decision to not push forward on immigration legislation, including his own bill, a “mistake.”

“The leadership has cooled down,” Biggs said. “If we had done the wall before the midterms it would have helped, not hurt.”

But Arpaio was not fazed by the move.

“We waited all these years, we can wait a couple months more,” he said. “Maybe he (Trump) has a game plan to go after these guys or see who’ going to get elected that will support him, so it makes sense.”

6 Comments

  1. Liberals couldn’t care less if illegals kill Americans, especially if they are white. Your typical white guilt liberal would say they deserved it for their privilege.

  2. Lets see, they say they need the illegals for filling jobs, well there are hundreds of thousands here already and the jobs are still unfilled!
    When will this BS statement end? Granted the jobs available will not be for big bucks but they are there. Most just want to get on the gravy train
    and do nothing. If they do get jobs, LACK of English speaking ability hinders all and can create issues in an EMERGENCY.
    No these groups just want OPEN BORDERS and thats it. They (the left and dems) just want to destroy what made this country great to begin
    with and turn it into the 4th world toilet that these people are trying to leave. They dont want a free america (USA) they want a
    totalitarian utopia that have FAILED time and time again, but they are so stupid they just dont get ti.

  3. Who is President Trump supporting, the people who fought the GOP establishment to elect him President, AZ conservatives among them, or Governor Ducey and Senator Kyl who says he will serve only for as long as he (and Governor Ducey?) find it convenient for their own, not Arizona`s, purposes? Both Governor Ducey and Senator Kyl are reportedly Never-Trump Republicans. The Arizona governor is granted the authority to fill the vacancy caused by Senator McCain`s passing FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE STATE, not Ducey`s and Kyl`s personal convenience. With the appointment of Senator Kyl who refuses to commit to serve for a definite period and says he will not run for the seat in 2020, the seat is in essence being held in escrow for Governor Ducey to play with as a political pawn should kyl leave before 2020, which Kyl strongly hints will in fact be the case. Governor Ducey is now calling for GOP unity going into the election campaign but voters must ask themselves if Governor Ducey would have made the same appeal if his candidates in the primary had lost?

  4. From reading Congress blogs today he didn’t ease anything, and in fact the Bill funding the wall and border is in the House right now waiting to be passed before heading to the Senate. Where of course the left wing nuts will try to stop it.

  5. What I said before was wrong. It’s the Defense Bill that went foreward.
    From the President report: ““But we’re going to do it immediately after the election. I have the commitment from Mitch McConnell, from Paul Ryan, from everybody. We do it right after the election where hopefully, frankly, it’ll be easy because we’ll have more Republicans, not less,” he added.

    Trump originally requested $5 billion for 2019 to construct his wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. He said Friday that the money will need to be redirected from the Pentagon or authorized by Congress.”

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