Barletta Meets with President, Families of Immigration Crime Victims at White House

Jun 28, 2017
Press Release
Calls for Passage of Bills to Strengthen Immigration Enforcement

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today was one of four U.S. House members who met at the White House with President Donald J. Trump for a roundtable discussion about the need to pass legislation to strengthen enforcement of our immigration laws.  During the meeting, family members of individuals who were murdered by illegal immigrants told their personal stories and urged Congress to pass two bills that would provide law enforcement with additional tools to keep Americans safe.  The bills, which the House will vote on tomorrow, address sanctuary cities and illegal immigrants who repeatedly enter our country in violation of our laws.

“These stories are heartbreaking, and sadly not uncommon,” Barletta said.  “Violent crimes committed by illegal immigrants are preventable.  Too many mayors and local governments think that they are above federal law and place their own ideology ahead of everyone’s safety.  The House tomorrow has a chance to send a clear message to the American people that their government is serious about keeping them safe.  I thank the president for standing up for the victims of these preventable crimes, and I urge all of my colleagues to do the same by voting yes on these important bills.”

The House tomorrow will consider two immigration enforcement bills, both of which Barletta co-sponsored.

The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act cracks down on sanctuary cities by clarifying that no entity or individual may prevent a government from enforcing immigration laws or cooperating with immigration officials.  The bill holds that if a local government is sued for enforcing immigration laws, the federal government must step in as a defendant.  It also includes language named after Sarah Root, a 21-year-old who was killed when an illegal alien drove the wrong way on the highway into her car while driving drunk, and Grant Ronnebeck, who was gunned down by an illegal immigrant who was free on bond while facing deportation.  That provision holds that illegal immigrants must be detained during removal proceedings when they are arrested or charged with causing serious injury or death.

Kate’s Law increases penalties for illegal immigrants who re-enter the United States after being deported.  The bill is named after Kate Steinle, a 32-year-old woman whose accused killer was a seven-time felon who had been deported five times previously.  ICE had previously requested an immigration detainer on the accused killer, but local officials released him because San Francisco is a sanctuary city, which does not honor such requests.

As mayor of Hazleton, Barletta met with the families of Derek Kichline, a 29-year-old father of three who in 2006 was murdered while working on his truck in Hazleton by an illegal immigrant who had been released by law enforcement a number of times, including by the sanctuary city of New York, and 20-year-old murder victim Carly Snyder of Northumberland County, who was stabbed 37 times by an illegal immigrant from Honduras in 2005.

“I understand that there’s nothing we can do to bring these people back,” Barletta said.  “I know there’s nothing we can do to relieve the pain their families still feel.  But by passing these bills, we can prevent these crimes from happening to other families.”

The roundtable took place in the White House’s Roosevelt Room.  Other attendees included: Congressman Bob Goodlatte (VA-06); Congressman Peter King (NY-02); Congressman Dave Young (IA-03); Thomas Homan, Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Barbara Gonzalez, Acting Assistant Director of the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement office; Rockingham County (North Carolina) Sheriff Sam Page; Bristol County (Massachusetts) Sheriff Thomas Hodgson; Steven Bannon, White House Chief Strategist; Andrew Bremberg, Director of the Domestic Policy Council; and Stephen Miller, Senior Advisor to the President.

The following individuals lost family members to crimes committed by illegal immigrants and attended the roundtable: Jamiel Shaw; Dan and Julie Golvach; Laura Wilkerson; Steve Ronnebeck; Jessica Davis; Susan Oliver; Michelle Wilson-Root; Mary Ann Mendoza; Sabine Durden; and Juan Pina.