As President Trump urged Congress to pass two bills that would affect illegal-immigrant criminals and sanctuary cities Wednesday, he sat surrounded by more than a dozen family members of people killed by illegal aliens, and vowed to quickly sign the bills when they reach his desk.
The bills, which face Democratic opposition, are focused on frustrating the efforts of “sanctuary cities” and imposing tougher penalties against criminals who re-enter the United States after being deported.
“You lost the people that you love because our government refused to enforce our nation’s immigration laws, and that’s including the existing immigration laws,” President Trump said during the White House roundtable, addressing the families of victims of illegal immigrant crimes. “For years the pundits, journalists, politicians in Washington refused to hear your voices but on Election Day 2016 your voices were heard all across the entire world. No one died in vain, I can tell you that,” said the president.
Along with the family members, officials from the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, lawmakers and law enforcement officers were reportedly in attendance. A White House official said the event was aimed at highlighting the need for tougher immigration enforcement.
Lawmakers will decide the fate of the immigration legislation Thursday, before they leave for the July 4 break.
Here is the president’s full statement, as posted on Facebook:
We are here today to discuss two crucial votes taking place in Congress tomorrow on vital public safety and national security legislation.
We are joined by the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte. Bob is one of the most skilled legislators in Congress, and he has worked with law enforcement to write a series of critical immigration bills that will close dangerous loopholes exploited by criminals, gang members, drug dealers, killers, and terrorists.
Also with us today are Congressmen Peter King, Lou Barletta, and David Young.
Tomorrow, the House will vote on the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which will cut federal grant money to cities that shield dangerous criminal aliens from being turned over to federal law enforcement.
The House will also vote on Kate’s Law – named for Kate Steinle, who was killed by an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times. This law will enhance criminal penalties for those who repeatedly re-enter the country illegally.
Countless innocent Americans – including the loved ones of many families in the room with us today – have been killed by illegal immigrants with multiple deportations.
I am especially honored to be here with so many courageous families whom I got to know so well during the campaign.
You lost the people you loved because our government refused to enforce our nation’s immigration laws.
For years, the pundits, journalists and politicians in Washington refused to hear your voices. But, on Election Day 2016, your voices were heard across THE ENTIRE WORLD.
Chairman Goodlatte has produced a package of truly key immigration enforcement bills. This package includes the Davis-Oliver Act – whose passage I called for nearly a year ago at my immigration speech in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Davis-Oliver Act was named for Detective Michael Davis and Deputy Sheriff Danny Oliver, who were gunned down in the line of duty by an illegal immigrant with a criminal record and two prior deportations.
Their incredibly brave widows honored us with their presence at my address to Congress. Today we are privileged to be joined by Melissa Oliver, the daughter of Deputy Sheriff Oliver. Melissa, your father was a HERO and we will never forget him.
We are calling on ALL members of Congress to honor grieving American Families by passing these life-savingmeasures in the House, IN THE SENATE, and sending them to my desk for signature. It is time to support our police, to protect our families, and to SAVE AMERICAN LIVES.
So with that, I’d like to ask each of the families and invited guests to say a few words and to share your stories with the American People, beginning with my good friend Jamiel Shaw.
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Kate’s Law voted on today by House