Donald Trump Wins Support From Parents of Illegal Immigrants’ Victims

GOP candidate’s effort parallels Hillary Clinton’s outreach to mothers of African-Americans killed in gun violence

At Donald Trump's campaign rallies, the parents of victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants often speak. In addition to promoting their cause -- highlighting public safety issues caused by illegal immigrants -- the parents help boost support for Trump's hard-line immigration policies. Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
At Donald Trump’s campaign rallies, the parents of victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants often speak. In addition to promoting their cause — highlighting public safety issues caused by illegal immigrants — the parents help boost support for Trump’s hard-line immigration policies. Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump is giving a national platform to parents of victims of crimes by illegal immigrants, inviting them to rallies and telling their tragic stories to boost support for hard-line immigration policies.

Mr. Trump is drawing intense media attention to what he says is a public-safety issue caused by illegal immigration. But the families also help put a sympathetic face on Mr. Trump’s attacks on some Mexican immigrants as criminals and his plans to build a wall along the southern border and deport millions of people who are in the U.S. illegally.

Two weeks ago, Sabine Durden told thousands of people at a Trump rally in Anaheim, Calif., about her 30-year-old son, Dominic, a sheriff’s dispatcher who was killed in a 2012 motorcycle accident by an illegal immigrant truck driver convicted twice of driving under the influence.

Choking back tears, she recalled: “I heard Donald Trump on the television as I walked by talking about illegal immigration and about the cost of American lives and I screamed. Donald Trump became my life savior that day, my hero…Wanting to control the border has nothing to do with racism but all to do with law and order.”

Online video of Mr. Trump kissing and signing posters of her son and other crime victims after the rally has been viewed more than 230,000 times.

By BETH REINHARD for The Wall Street Journal
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