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One of the main things I hate about Washington is that politics consistently gets in the way of policy. We play political theater and pat ourselves on the back in the false name of compassion while Americans suffer and ultimately pay the price.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that Democrats would hold American national security and sovereignty hostage for 34 days. Never did I think that we would see adults throw temper tantrums over $5.7 billion in necessary spending out of an over trillion spending package.
Never did I ever think that Congress would let what is happening at the border continue. As @BarackObama accurately noted in 2014, there is an “actual humanitarian crisis on the border.” That is fact, not an opinion or some fearmongering tactic. bit.ly/2RdgpzR
The reality is that migrants are being abducted and forced into slavery. Little girls are being sold into the sex trade. Dangerous drugs are flowing across our borders and into our homes. Americans and migrants are dying.
My constituents and colleagues have heard me tell the story of Jared Vargas, a young man from my district with so much going for him whose life was needlessly taken at the hands of an illegal immigrant.
Jared’s story alone should be enough to make us act. Tragically, his story is not uncommon. Here are a few more …
Spencer Golvach was a 25-year-old man from Houston, TX. After dropping his girlfriend off from a birthday dinner, Spencer was sitting at a stoplight in Jan. 2015. Spencer was shot in the head by Victor Rodriguez Reyes, an illegal immigrant from Mexico. bit.ly/1nSc0UU
Reyes was deported multiple times and served 63-months in prison. During his sentence, Reyes nearly killed another inmate. That should have gotten him more prison time. It didn’t. Why? A judge let him out early.
His release ultimately allowed Reyes to brutally murder Spencer and 3 others during a killing spree. The day Reyes took Spencer’s life was the day that would have been the re-Grand Opening of Spencer’s newly built-out guitar shop.
Spencer worked 3 jobs to get the money to re-construct his shop. He did all the construction. Spencer took one night off to take his girlfriend to dinner for her birthday. Now, Spencer’s parents, Julie and Dan, do not have a son. They do not have their only child to hold.
Spencer and Jared are not alone. 16-year-old Tessa Nicole Tranchant and 17-year-old Allison Kunhardt were sitting at a stoplight when an illegal immigrant driving drunk w/ a fake license hit them going over 70 mph. bit.ly/2FZm3n5
Alfredo Ramos--the immigrant who killed Tessa and Allison--purchased his fake license from a cartel. As was the case with Jared and Spencer’s respective killers, Ramos was previously arrested.
Prior to killing Tessa and Allison, Ramos ran a cop off the road while drunk. Officers ticketed, sentenced, and fined him. Yet, the local sheriff released him. Tessa’s mother claims @ICEgov was never contacted.
Jared, Spencer, Tessa, and Allison aren’t alone. 41-year-old Purple Heart and Medal of Valor winner Don Johnston was shot by an illegal immigrant. Johnston, a police officer, was answering a call at a bank.
An illegal immigrant, using a bank customer as a shield, fired at Johnston. A bullet struck two vertebrae in Johnston’s neck and left bone spurs near his spinal cord. The swelling left Johnston paralyzed. Johnston died 12 years later. lat.ms/2B34Jud
What Americans see on a day-to-day basis is what is happening North of our border, or in English-speaking media. Americans aren’t the only ones suffering from our failures. Lives are being taken North and South of our border.
Only this month, Mexican authorities found the remains of 21 bodies near the border. 17 of them were “burned.” Authorities believed the deaths were caused by gang violence, which has claimed thousands of lives along our border. reut.rs/2CfUEd2
Two months ago, 2 Honduran teenagers traveling with a migrant caravan to the U.S. were stabbed and strangled. Mexican authorities believe they were killed after a robbery attempt. wapo.st/2T8xlsW
Nearly 2 years to the day (in my district), 10 illegal immigrants crammed into the back of a tractor-trailer died from exposure to blistering heat. n.pr/2WeH3Mq
As far back as 9 years ago, in 2010, 72 migrants making their way to the U.S. were found dead at a remote ranch an hour south of the U.S. border. They were kidnapped by a drug gang. wapo.st/2sIHIbv
I could spend all day spouting off stories like these. Heartbreaking, unfathomable tales of atrocities committed because of our failures to secure our border and uphold the rule of law. You can find more @StolenLivesQlt / therememberanceproject.org.
Nothing we can do will bring back Jared, Spencer, Tessa, Allison, or Don to their families. What we can do … What we should do … What we must do is simple: secure our border, re-open our government, and pay our workers.
As I’ve said, reasonable people can disagree about the specifics of securing our border. No one can disagree that these families should not have lost a loved one because we continuously fail to do our basic duty to secure our nation and shore up American sovereignty.
Let’s #SecureTheBorderNow, end this shutdown, and pay our workers. bit.ly/2FkU5mo
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