In his acceptance speech last night, Donald Trump recounted the story of a young Iowa woman who was killed in Omaha earlier this year by a drunk driver who was in the country illegally. The Republican presidential nominee warned of the violence America is facing and attributed part of the problem to the dangers of illegal immigration.
“One such border-crosser was released and made his way to Nebraska,” Trump says. “There, he ended the life of an innocent young girl named Sarah Root. She was 21-years-old and was killed the day after graduating from college.” Root, who was from Council Bluffs, was killed hours after her graduation in January from Bellevue University. She had a 4.0 grade point and wanted to go on and earn a master’s degree in criminology.
Omaha police say 19-year-old Eswin Mejia, a native of Honduras, was drunk and drag racing a pickup when he rear-ended Root’s SUV and he was initially arrested.
“Her killer was then released a second time, and he is now a fugitive from the law,” Trump says. “I’ve met Sarah’s beautiful family, but to this administration, their amazing daughter was just one more American life that wasn’t worth protecting.” That comment drew boos and jeers from the audience at the Republican National Convention.
“No more,” Trump said, as the boos faded. “One more child to sacrifice on the altar of open borders.” Police say Mejia’s blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit and he was driving on a suspended license. Mejia is presumed to have fled the country after federal Immigration Customs Enforcement officers decided not to hold him following his arrest.
Root’s mother testified before Congress in April as legislation is being considered that would force undocumented immigrants to be held for their alleged crimes. Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says: “Sarah’s Law would close this gap that we have existing right now and it would require that ICE issue a detainer — they would detain any illegal immigrant who has caused serious bodily injury or death to a citizen.”