NEWS-SENTINEL EDITORIAL: Time to come to terms on illegal immigration

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President Trump used his first State of the Union Address on Jan. 30 to point out that there are many instances of deaths to American citizens at the hands of illegal immigrants in our country.

The issue hit close to home Sunday when one such immigrant living illegally in Indiana was arrested in a suspected drunken-driving crash that killed Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson.

Manuel Orrego-Savala of Guatemala, 37, was allegedly driving a pickup under the influence when he struck and killed Jackson, 26, and his Uber driver, 54-year-old Jeffrey Monroe, when they got out of their vehicle on I-70 in Indianapolis.

President Trump tweeted Tuesday: “So disgraceful that a person illegally in our country killed @Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson. This is just one of many such preventable tragedies. We must get the Dems to get tough on the Border, and with illegal immigration, FAST.”

Orrego-Savala was deported in 2007 and 2009 and had a history of misdemeanor convictions and arrests, including at least two previous instances of driving under the influence, according to police reports.

Immigration was the issue Trump spent the most time discussing in his State of the Union Address in building up to an immigration proposal he offered to Congress. He opened the topic with the story of two sets of Latino-American parents from Long Island, N.Y., who were his guests in the House gallery during the speech. Their children had been murdered by illegal immigrants in the MS-13 gang.

Throughout his first year as president, Trump has regularly pointed to crimes committed by illegal immigrants as evidence that the U.S. needs to build a wall along the Mexican border and tighten immigration policies.

The Federation for Immigration Reform (fairus.org), a non-partisan, public interest organization wanting better immigration policies, laws and better border management, lists on its website scores of cases of serious crimes committed by illegal immigrants in recent years — an archive that includes 35 such serious crimes in just the past two years.

Like us, FAIR does not contend that the cases are representative of the illegal immigrant population in general, but that they demonstrate Trump’s belief that better prevention of illegal immigration is a public safety issue.

Many of those stories, like Sunday’s tragedy, are heart-rending and represent the dire necessity for Congress to act on the immigration proposal President Trump has offered. Democrats and Republicans need to come to terms on that proposal now.

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