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Mother of slain Phoenix-area police officer pushes Speaker Ryan for secure borders

PHOENIX — The mother of a Phoenix-area police officer who was killed by an illegal immigrant in 2014 pushed Speaker Paul Ryan for tighter border security at a CNN Town Hall event on Thursday night.

Mary Ann Mendoza stood up at the televised event, asking Ryan how Congress would work with President-elect Donald Trump to end sanctuary cities, build a wall and properly vet refugees in order to “stop the assault on our country, our citizens and the economy.”

“What child of yours would you choose to lose in order for illegals to stay here, because that’s the price I’ve had to pay,” Mendoza said in part of her line of questioning. “Are you going to stand up for our country, Speaker Ryan?”

Ryan assured Mendoza that him and the president-elect “agree completely” on ending sanctuary cities, which the speaker called “a violation of the rule of law and they are not to be tolerated.” He added that sanctuary cities would also not get federal assistance unless they enforce the law.

Trump, Ryan said, asked Congress to focus on two aspects in respect to illegal immigration: Securing the border and enforcing the laws with respect to violent criminals who are illegal immigrants.

“We 100 percent agree with that, because we are a nation of laws that need to support our laws,” Ryan said, adding that Congress is currently working on legislation to make sure that resources are deployed and properly allocated to the U.S.-Mexico border.

“We now have a president who is serious about securing the border,” Ryan said. “He’s telling us it’s one of the top six things I want to get done this year in Congress and we said, absolutely. So what I’m telling you, we support that, we agree with that and now, not only that, we’re working on how to execute that in this new Congress.”

Mendoza’s son Brandon, a Mesa police officer, was killed in 2014 in a fiery car accident caused by a wrong-way driver who was impaired at the time. Both the driver, Raul Silva-Corona, and Mendoza died in the crash.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said at the time that Silva-Corona was in the country illegally.

Since her son’s death, Mary Ann has been an advocate for securing the border, even speaking at a Trump rally in Phoenix in July 2015.

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