While addressing members of the National Border Patrol Council on Friday, President Trump invited on stage the granddaughter of an elderly New York woman who was raped and slain last month by, allegedly, a known criminal alien recently released into the community under New York's dangerous sanctuary city policies.
In January, New York City police arrested a 21-year-old illegal immigrant from Guyana, Reeaz Khan, for the murder and sexual assault of Maria Fuertes, a 92-year-old grandmother living in Queens. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have blamed NYC's sanctuary city laws for releasing the known criminal alien back into the community following Khan's previous arrest for assault and criminal possession of a weapon in Nov. 2019. The elderly Fuertes was found unconscious, her body partially exposed, lying behind a vehicle close to her home just after midnight on Jan. 6. Ms. Fuertes later died from her injuries.
Towards the end of his address on Friday, President Trump invited Ms. Fuertes' granddaughter, Daria Ortiz, to say a few words about her grandmother, described as a beloved figure in her local community.
"I'd like to take this moment to say my grandmother was very generous and educated," Ortiz began. "She was a woman who dedicated her time to taking care of others. Before coming to America, she worked as a secretary for the president of her native country, the Dominican Republic. She's a shining example of when people come legally to this country, work hard, and do the right thing and are law-abiding citizens. My grandmother raised her children and her grandchildren while working hard to give us a future. "
The woman fought back tears as she went on to describe her grandmother's fate as a completely avoidable tragedy had it not been for New York City's harmful and dangerous sanctuary city policies.
"Unfortunately, my grandmother had to be the example of why something like this horrific crime should never happen," she said. "Our family's hope is that her death was not in vain, and that preventative measures are put into place to ensure nothing like this ever happens to anyone again. The tragedy in all of this is the fact this could have been avoided had there been no sanctuary law. The tragedy is my grandmother is not ever going to be here again."
"The man that is responsible for this should have never had the opportunity to do this, had his multiple offenses not been ignored. The system not only failed our family, but it failed our city," she explained. "Our family would like to thank the administration for acknowledging my family's tragedy and understanding their concerns in this tragic time. Thank you very much."
President Trump mentioned the horrific case while blasting dangerous sanctuary laws during his State of the Union address earlier this month.
"Just 29 days ago, a criminal alien freed by the sanctuary city of New York was charged with the brutal rape and murder of a 92-year-old woman," the president said. "The killer had been previously arrested for assault, but under New York’s sanctuary policies, he was set free. If the city had honored ICE’s detainer request, his victim would be alive today."
Daria Ortiz is the granddaughter of 92-year-old Maria Fuentes, who was raped and murdered by an illegal immigrant in Queens.— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 15, 2020
Sanctuary city policies failed their family. pic.twitter.com/4uxtORc7tx