(CNSNews.com) - Laura Wilkerson, a mother whose 18-year-old son Joshua was murdered by an illegal alien in 2010, passionately appealed to Congress Tuesday to put an end to so-called “sanctuary city” policies and begin enforcing immigration laws, adding that “we are at war right here in this country” against criminal aliens who are a threat to public safety.
“This was our family’s 9/11 terrorist attack by a foreign invader, whether you want to recognize it or whether you do not,” Laura Wilkerson told members of Congress, speaking of her son's death nearly five years ago.
“This government continues to fail or even recognize that we have an issue,” she said, adding that “Americans are dying daily at the hands of criminals that we don’t even know are here.”
A week before Thanksgiving in 2010, in a suburb of Houston, Texas, Joshua Wilkerson was tied, beaten and killed by 19-year-old Hermilo Moralez, an illegal alien from Belize who was brought to the United States as a child.
According to autopsy reports his mother read aloud before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, Wilkerson’s body was badly beaten and burned, his face fractured and his internal organs severely damaged from being beaten to death while restrained. His body was found in a field later that same day after being set on fire, local reports stated.
Moralez was convicted of murder in 2013 and sentenced to life in prison.
“You’re officially notified today that there is a problem when this happens,” Laura Wilkerson told Congress Tuesday. “You can’t deny it any longer. You cannot stand by and ignore our families, our American families. You’re elected by Americans, not any other country. You should be for Americans.
“I will not give up another one of my children so that a foreign person can have a nicer life. I’m not going to do it,” she said.
Wilkerson went on to slam the federal government’s continued tolerance of 200-plus “sanctuary cities,” which are localities that have adopted official policies banning local law enforcement from cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seeking to detain and deport a criminal alien that has been arrested for a crime in that jurisdiction.
“Sanctuary cities scream to the criminal element of all illegals in this country, ‘Come to Our Town, USA. We’ll protect you from our terrible policemen. We’ll protect you from these tough American laws that you, because you’ve had a hard life, are not able to go through the same motions that an American is,’” Wilkerson said.
But the policy of protecting illegal aliens from being deported didn’t protect her son from being killed by one, she said.
“America lost that day,” she told Congress. “You lost a good citizen who was on the brink of who knows what. He had mentioned going into the Air Force like his older brother, who had to come home for two weeks and bury…he was out defending this country, Americans, and we had to bring him home for two weeks to bury his little brother, who wasn’t being defending right here at home. It’s absurd to me.”
ICE has recently estimated that more than 167,000 criminal aliens are currently loose in the United States, according to a weekly departure and detention report Congress reviewed in March.
Between Jan. 1, 2014 and Aug. 31, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security identified 8,811 immigration detainers representing 8,145 individuals that had been ignored by 276 counties in 43 states and the District of Columbia, according to a DHS Declined Detainer Outcome Report recently obtained by the Center for Immigration Studies. These criminal aliens were subsequently set free by the arresting agency after the detainers were not honored.
Of these, 1,867 criminal aliens had gone on to be arrested again for another crime, DHS stated.