Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Roth: Grand Rapids shooting another unnecessary tragedy
RELEASE|March 28, 2024
Contact: John Roth

State Rep. John Roth on Thursday sounded the alarm on failing federal immigration policies after an illegal immigrant murdered a 25-year-old woman in Grand Rapids last week. The tragedy follows an incident last month where 19 illegal immigrants were detained after being found on an unmarked bus outside Traverse City.

“What happened in Grand Rapids is another senseless tragedy that never should have happened,” said Roth, R-Interlochen. “Things have gotten so bad that people are dying in our own backyards. Our local law enforcement should not have to clean up the messes being ignored by the federal government. But that’s the situation we find ourselves in. We must protect our citizens, end the exploitation of vulnerable people, and put human traffickers in prison where they belong. When we allow illegal immigration to spiral out of control, it puts our residents at risk and spits in the face of everyone trying to get to the U.S. legally.”

The illegal immigrant who confessed this week to the murder of Ruby Garcia in Grand Rapids had reentered the United States illegally after the Trump Administration deported him in 2020. Before his deportation, he had been arrested multiple times in Kent County. He was convicted of illegal entry into a residence, and he had an outstanding bench warrant in Grand Rapids for a 2020 case of suspected drunk driving and driving without a valid license.

A recent Gallup poll found that 28 percent of Americans, a plurality, view immigration as the most important problem facing the country, and 55 percent agree that large numbers of immigrants entering the country illegally is a critical threat to our nation’s vital interests.

“People are scared because the problem seems to just be getting bigger and bigger,” Roth said. “We all have sympathy for the people looking for a better life, but we have legal pathways for a reason. We cannot continue to allow people to pour over the border with zero repercussions. Things are getting so bad that people in Michigan are dying. This is a national emergency. We need to put politics aside and find answers, not wait for more reasons to pound our fists.”

Border authorities encountered more than 225,000 migrants along the US-Mexico border in December, according to Department of Homeland Security statistics – the highest monthly total recorded since 2000. Daily apprehensions by border authorities often surpassed 10,000.


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