Mendoza: Open borders resulted in my son’s death, please stop the carnage

Some say building a border wall would be immoral. As a parent whose child was killed by an illegal immigrant, I say it would be immoral not to secure our border once and for all.

Each year, thousands of parents receive the heart-breaking news that their son or daughter has died at the hands of an illegal immigrant or the illegal drugs that are smuggled across our southern border.

Mary Ann Mendoza

Several of those parents were on hand for President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency last month, and my heart went out to them when CNN’s Jim Acosta heartlessly tried to downplay their suffering in order to make a political point.

I’m just one of the many parents who have experienced the tragedy of our country’s broken immigration system. With each day that we avoid addressing this crisis, more families are needlessly torn apart.

This year, illegal drugs — most of which are smuggled in through our unsecured southern border — will take more American lives than the entire Vietnam War. Meanwhile, thousands of American citizens will be killed by illegal immigrants, many of whom are allowed to roam the streets freely despite having a criminal record.

That’s exactly what happened to my son, Brandon, who was taken from us nearly five years ago when an illegal immigrant with a criminal record was driving drunk and plowed his vehicle into Brandon’s car as he was on his way home from work.

The monster who killed Brandon was previously charged with burglary and assaulting a police officer in the 1990s, but he never showed up to court. He was even apprehended by Border Patrol while re-entering the country in 2002, only for a judge to let him back onto the streets.

With disturbing regularity, we see reports from communities across the country of yet another American life ended at the hands of an illegal immigrant who should not have been allowed to enter or stay in this country.

In my home state of Arizona alone, the Government Accountability Office estimates that homicides accounted for 4 percent of the roughly 6,000 illegal immigrants convicted of crimes in 2008. That comes out to 240 homicide convictions in just one state, in just one year. That same year, an estimated 3,000 illegal aliens were convicted of homicide in California.

The carnage is of massive proportions, and yet politicians in Washington still refuse to protect us by securing America’s borders.

The question is, why? Why should families like mine suffer while politicians fret over the morality of enforcing our nation’s immigration laws? Why does Congress continue to pay lip service to border security while doing nothing to achieve it?

The answer has become achingly clear. It’s because politicians in Washington value their own careers over what’s good for the country. As a result, I’ll never be able to hug my son again, or experience the pride of watching him raise his own family.

President Trump is the only person in Washington who seems to understand the gravity of the illegal immigration crisis, and I’m immensely grateful to him for taking action to secure the border after Congress refused to protect American families like mine.

Editor’s Note: Mary Ann Mendoza is an Angel Mom who lives in Mesa.

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