24 May 2016

Parents should never experience the heartbreak of burying their child, but President Obama’s commitment to lawless immigration policy is making that tragedy the new normal.

In the push for amnesty for criminals, the president has ignored the price paid by victims. Now the victims are having their say. Recently both Michelle and Scott Root testified before Congress to explain how their young, beautiful daughter was killed at the hands of a criminal alien.

Sarah Root was a 21 year-old girl from Iowa who had just graduated from Bellvue University with a 4.0 and a degree in crime investigation. She had the entire world ahead of her, but her life was abruptly ended by 19 year-old Eswin Mejia, an illegal immigrant.

Mejia slammed into the back of Sarah’s vehicle while drag racing with a blood alcohol content three times the .08 legal limit, killing her. Unfortunately, he never should have been on that road in the first place and in fact, he had previously encountered law enforcement but was released back onto the Nebraska streets without punishment. Following the crash, Mejia was once again arrested but after only five days in jail, he was released by Judge Jeffrey Marcuzzo on a mere $5,000 bail, less than it cost to bury Sarah according to her father Scott.

Omaha’s police officials were told that Mejia did not meet “priority” standards when they repeatedly asked U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials to detain him. This policy, created through President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, gives DHS officials the ability to exercise “prosecutorial discretion” in identifying those needing immediate removal as a threat “to national security, public safety, and border security.” This discretion is used on a broad categorical basis with no real standard for decisions, creating irresponsible and calamitous verdicts as in Sarah’s case.

Her killer actually had a history of breaking the law, fleeing from charges and failing to show up at court. He was not only an assured flight risk, but he was also here illegally. He was a criminal by all definitions of our law and true to character, he absconded the day he was released. ICE has since changed its mind and has now placed Eswin Mejia on its “Most Wanted” list. If found, he will be held without bond. It is horribly ironic that the very system Sarah wanted to devote her life to ultimately failed her.

The Roots do not stand alone in this fight, and Sarah is not the only innocent victim of criminal immigrants. In the last three years, the Obama administration has released more than 85,000 criminal aliens, according to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau.

The 20,000 offenders released just last year had a total of 64,197 convictions, including 12,307 alcohol involved DUI’s, 7,986 “dangerous drug” charges, 614 sex offences, and 208 homicides. Yet these criminals were freed from custody. They were not punished, and they were not deported. They walked out of our prisons, free to continue breaking our laws. Over 64,000 crimes is a statistic that proves a pattern, not a coincidence as the Left attempts to claim.

If we continue down this path, I assure you it will not take long for our country to crumble. Illegal immigrants utterly disregard our Rule of Law and way of life here in America. They already break our laws by coming illegally so what will stop them from continuing to do so? Simply look at Sarah Root for the answer.

The truth is these criminals will stop at nothing. Someone must be held accountable for Sarah’s death and unfortunately due to ICE’s lawlessness, that someone is not Eswin Mejia. I call on President Obama to accept responsibility for his lethal and unconstitutional edicts and ICE to change their “priorities” to objective standards that can be upheld in every single case. How many more innocent men, women and children must die for this administration to understand its policies are wrong?

My heart is full of grief, and I give my deepest condolences to the Roots for the loss of Sarah. The only comfort they have now is a bracelet saying, “Sarah Root Saved 6,” worn around their wrists and a bracelet I too now wear. Sarah was an organ donor, and her parents kept her on life support for days in order to save 6 lives and help over a dozen others through her skin and tissue. Thus, Sarah’s legacy lives on.

I assure you I will not stop fighting for justice for Sarah Root but until then, please join me in continued prayer for her family and for the families of all victims of these criminals.