PHOENIX — A bill inspired by a slain Phoenix man that is scheduled to be voted on Thursday would make illegal immigrants convicted of a crime a deportation priority.
“Basically, what Grant’s Law does is, once we’re done with them – the court system, the legal system is done with these criminals – they get a deportation hearing within 90 days,” Steve Ronnebeck told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Thursday.
“They go to the top of the list. We want them out of here.”
Ronnebeck’s son, Grant, was killed by an illegal immigrant in 2015. Apolinar Altamirano had been convicted of robbery more than two years before he killed Grant inside of a QT gas station in Mesa.
“This man should have been deported or he should have been actually in prison,” Ronnebeck said. “His original charges – he was able to plead it down – and he got probation.”
Grant’s death was mentioned numerous times on the campaign trail by President Donald Trump, who cited his killing as one reason a crackdown was needed on illegal immigrants.
Ronnebeck, who worked tirelessly to get the bill introduced, said the new law would prevent other families from going through what he did.
“My son’s death was preventable,” he said. “He should be here. Due to some failures in our systems and our laws, unfortunately, that didn’t happen.”
Ronnebeck flew to Washington, D.C. this week ahead of the bill’s expected Thursday vote. He said he met with Trump while there.
“I got to meet him and work with him on the campaign trail and, so far, he’s kept his promises,” he said. “He’s doing everything he can to protect American citizens.”
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