nearvideo Maria Fuentes, granddaughter: My hope is that her death was not for nothing
Daria Ortiz talks about her grandmother, the murder during the term of office of the President of Trump’s remarks to the National Border Patrol Council.
The granddaughter of a 92-year-old woman murdered, allegedly, in New York City by an illegal immigrant, had been shielded from deportation pinned her death on the city’s sanctuary policy in an emotional speech on Friday, said her death could have been avoided if the controversial policy was not in place.
“The tragedy in all this is the fact that this could have been avoided, there would have been no sanctuary law,” Daria Ortiz said. “The tragedy of my grandmother is also not to ever be here again.”
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President Trump invited Ortiz, the granddaughter of Maria Fuertes, to speak at the event at the National Border Patrol Council. Ortiz fought through tears as she paid tribute to her grandmother, as a “shining example, if people come legally in this country who work hard and do the right thing and law-abiding citizens.”
An immigrant from the Dominican Republic, Fuertes “educated their children, and their grandchildren, while working hard to give us a future,” Ortiz said.
Reeaz Khan, an illegal Guyanese immigrant, is accused of sexually assaulted and murdered Fuertes last month. Fuertes was, according to media reports, took place around 2 a.m. in the vicinity of death, before he was brought to a hospital, where she died of injuries including a broken spine. He has pleaded not guilty.
But the case has cast a spotlight on the dangers of the “sanctuary” jurisdictions, which forbid local law enforcement from working with Federal immigration authorities to issue a detainer — a requirement that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will be alerted of an illegal immigrant’s release from custody, so that they can be transferred into ICE custody and go through the deportation process.
ICE revealed it had a detainer for Khan in November 2019, when he was arrested on assault and weapons charges. But the point is that detainer has been ignored, and Khan was released on the streets.
Ortiz notes, the debt of Khan’s release on the city’s sanctuary policy and called for “preventive measures” taken to be inserted to ensure that nothing similar could happen again.
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“The man who was responsible had never had the opportunity to do so, his multiple offenses, which has not been ignored,” she said. “The system not only failed our family, but it failed our city.”
Trump and his administration have repeatedly made aware of the case as part of a wider push against sanctuary countries. It sparked an angry-and-forth between Trump officials and New York politicians, the claims that make such policies the city safer. ICE has arrested and summoned to New York for information about Khan and other illegal immigrants in the city.
“Not one more American life should be stolen from the Shrine cities, they are not all over the place, and a lot of people want you to” Trump said on Friday.
Trump also called from the sanctuary policy in his State of the Union address, introduced earlier this month, where he highlighted Fuertes’ death, the brother of a man allegedly killed by an illegal immigrant in California.
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Then he called on the Congress to enact legislation that would allow victims of crimes to sue of illegal immigrants, sanctuary cities and States.
This week, attorney General William Barr announced a whole series of additional sanctions against the sanctuary cities, in what he called a “significant escalation” against the left-wing countries.
Fox News, Gregg Re, and Barnini Chakraborty contributed to this report.