CAPS — In the frustrating patriotic immigration reform effort, one of the hardest things to do is to talk to families who lost loved ones because the federal government refuses to enforce the law. So many senseless crimes have been committed by so many countless deportable aliens that it’s often hard to keep track of them, so frequently do they occur.
Last week, while in Washington D.C. at an event sponsored by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, I met Ray Tranchant, who lost his daughter Tessa at age 16. In 2007, Tessa and her best friend Ali were killed in Virginia Beach while waiting for a red light to change. As Tranchant told me, “They were wonderful girls with bright futures who had done nothing wrong.”
Illegal immigrant Alfredo Ramos hit them while his vehicle sped along at 70 miles per hour. Ramos, who had two prior arrests, one for DUI and the second for public intoxication, had a blood level triple the legal limit, but he escaped uninjured. Ramos was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Adding to the agony of Tranchant’s tragic loss is that Virginia Beach is a sanctuary city. This means officials never questioned Ramos about his immigration status, and never put him in removal proceedings.
In the 15 years since 9/11, I’ve met and exchanged emails with hundreds of victims’ families. Many of them like Tranchant have become activists. But I’ve yet to meet a single person who understood much if anything about the U.S. immigration crisis before their personal tragedies struck. Certainly, some knew about illegal immigration, and a few might have had an inkling about H-1B visa abuse. But it takes a catastrophe before the victims’ fathers, mothers, husbands, wives and siblings become truly involved.
Advocacy requires time and effort, and it’s understandable when people decide to spend their few free hours in a more immediately rewarding pursuit. But the general public’s overall lack of insight about how harmful and potentially deadly the federal government’s dismantling of immigration law is remains a huge stumbling block to sensible reform.
Become involved. Go to the CAPS Action Alert page here and tell your congressional representatives to support the Interior Immigration Enforcement Act, HR 5102, and the Criminal Alien Detention and Removal Act, HR 5103, two bills that would help save innocent lives like Tessa and Ali.