The Impact of Illegal Immigration on Families

Floor Speech

Date: Feb. 5, 2019
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LaMALFA. Mr. Speaker, yet another instance of illegal immigration impacting real families has occurred in the western States, Nevada and California.

I thank President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for honoring three people from my district tonight as guests for the State of the Union Address.

Sadly, Debra Bissell, Heather Armstrong, and Madison Armstrong will be here as guests because of the tragedy that happened in their life. They are the daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter of Gerald and Sharon David, who were murdered in their home in Reno, Nevada, just this last month.

The murderer? An illegal immigrant from El Salvador who had been living in Carson City for over a year. No motive has been released, but, then, does the motive really matter to this family, to yet another loss of life due to illegal immigration and the sieve we have of a border in this country?

But Gerald and Sharon were two of four people who this man, whose name I will not mention, shot dead in their homes over the course of a week. The other two victims were Connie Koontz and Sophia Renken, from Reno, Nevada.

These brutal murders will have a tremendous impact on the families of each of these victims, including Debra, Heather, and Madison, whom we will meet tonight.

When we talk about border security, when the President speaks about it tonight, these three faces should serve as a reminder of the real- life consequences of our open border policy that this country seems to have.

This is not just a talking point or political football to be tossed around. Real people are being hurt--the ones left behind--lives are being ruined, as well as the lives being taken, time after time, because the Congress can't get its act together to get a bipartisan solution for border security, for a border barrier, and a combination of things that it will take to effectively run the border, to patrol our border, and to give our personnel down there all the tools they need to do it effectively, safely for the American citizens and safely for themselves.

It doesn't matter if you want to call it a wall, a fence, a physical barrier, or anything else. It is long past time to do something about the crime, violence, drugs, and human trafficking.

The human trafficking, we don't talk about that enough, what is really happening to the people who are being brought across who do want to come seek something better in America but are subject to the coyotes who take advantage of them, extracting dollars from them and unspeakable things from the women whom they bring across the border and the kids. It is long past time to do something about all those subjects that are currently moving fairly freely in our country.

For Debra, Heather, and Madison from Redding, California, they represent three generations in their family that has been devastated by the status quo of our border situation.

I am grateful that President Trump is shining a bright, unmistakable light on this issue and the urgency with which we must address it. Every single day we do nothing is another day that another family is being potentially harmed in some way by the inaction and inability on both sides of the aisle to come together to get something effective done.

I wish it wasn't under these circumstances that Debra, Heather, and Madison will have to be here tonight. Their grief must be immense. But tonight, their story will be front and center for all America to see. It is certainly no consolation, nothing to assuage the pain they must feel, but I hope their presence might help spark some positive change in this country that is long overdue.

I thank the President and First Lady, again, for inviting them. I thank Debra, Heather, and Madison for their courage in having to share this tragedy and go through the pain in order to help advance a cause of sovereign borders and safety for other American citizens who will, hopefully, not have to go through this.

I ask the American people to join us in praying for Gerald and Sharon David, for their family that will join us here tonight, for other victims and family members who have been taken by the senseless killing, and to pray that a solution happens so we don't have any more of this in this great land.