President Trump’s immigration policy hits close to home for 2 Arizona families
PHOENIX — Two Arizona families were scheduled to meet Wednesday with President Donald Trump, ahead of what was expected to be his signing of an executive action on immigration.
Relatives of Sgt. Brandon Mendoza, a Mesa police officer killed on the job, and Grant Ronnenbeck, who died in a holdup, were called to Washington to talk about their loss. Each man was killed by someone who was in the country illegally, according to records.
Mendoza died in a car wreck, hit head-on by a wrong-way driver in 2014. Ronnebeck was shot to death in 2015 at a Mesa convenience store during an overnight shift.
Each of the undocumented men who caused those deaths had already been in trouble with authorities. In Ronnebeck’s case, the shooter, Apolinar Altamirano, had been arrested and was awaiting deportation. He had been released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
That story, told by Steve Ronnebeck, Grant’s father, was part of GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s first campaign TV ad.
Mary Ann Mendoza wrote President Barack Obama after her son’s death, angry that Raul Silva-Corona hadn’t been deported after he was charged with assaulting a Colorado police officer in 1994.
She has met with Trump on a few occasions, speaking at an Arizona rally on his behalf in July 2015 and at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last summer.
U.S. Sen. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) has introduced a bill, Grant’s Law”, that would move undocumented criminals to the top of deportation lists and prevent their return.