COUNCIL BLUFFS, Ia. — An Iowa woman whose daughter was killed three years ago by a driver who was in the United States illegally joined Republican Party activists in her hometown to denounce Democratic presidential candidates’ views on immigration.
Sarah Root died in 2016. The Honduran driver who collided with her was unharmed and disappeared after posting bond.
“Where is the justice for Sarah? Where is the justice for my family? I’m tired of justice being provided for illegal aliens,” Sarah’s mother, Michelle Root of Council Bluffs, told a small crowd at a news conference Saturday.
The morning conference was held outside the venue of an afternoon candidate forum on issues affecting seniors that featured three Democrats running for president. AARP and the Des Moines Register hosted the forum.
Since her daughter’s death, Root has become an advocate for strict immigration enforcement and a supporter of President Donald Trump. She wore a blue T-shirt Saturday that read, “Angel Family,” a term referring to those with loved ones killed by undocumented immigrants.
Root and state Rep. Jon Jacobsen, R-Council Bluffs, accused Democrats of being lenient on border security and immigration enforcement.
“We don’t need Democrats that want open borders, because again, my family is the end result of all these open border policies,” Root said. “We need to take care of Americans first.”
Immigration has been a central issue for Democratic candidates during this caucus cycle.
Most have pledged to close or limit the use of detention centers for asylum seekers. Some candidates, following the lead of former U.S. housing secretary Julian Castro, say the country should decriminalize border crossings, while others want to provide health care to undocumented immigrants under a government-run plan.
“2020 Democrats continue to push a radical agenda,” Jacobsen said. “2020 Democrats like Cory Booker openly brag about bringing illegal immigrants across the border to seek asylum, and Beto O’Rourke even campaigned for president while in Mexico.”
In in the incident Jacobson may have had in mind for Booker, the senator from New Jersey had been asked by an immigration group to help women suffering from domestic violence, admitted to the U.S. after they had been sent back to Mexico, according to a news report. The women had been following the legal immigration process.
By Katie Akin for DES MOINES REGISTER
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