Congressman-elect TJ Cox (D-Fresno) says the killing of a Newman police corporal allegedly at the hands of an illegal immigrant illustrates the need for comprehensive immigration reform.
Cpl. Ronil Singh of the Newman Police Department died Wednesday (Dec. 26) after attempting to stop a suspected DUI driver.
At a Friday news conference announcing the arrest of 32-year old Gustavo Perez Arriaga, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson blamed California’s sanctuary state law, SB 54.
“This could have been preventable. Under SB 54 in California, based on two arrests for DUI and some other active warrants this criminal has out there, law enforcement would have been prevented, prohibited from sharing the information with ICE about this criminal gang member,” Christianson said.
Cox Wants Immigration Reform
Cox didn’t support the sheriff’s conclusion.
“If we have comprehensive immigration reform, then the jails will be able to inform people. Law enforcement should be working collaboratively, to be able to communicate across the board. …Sanctuary city laws were set up to assist law enforcement, so people felt free to be able to come to their law enforcement, to be able to report crimes,” Cox said.
Cox said that SB 54 is a tool for the community to report crimes without fear.
“What we’ve got right now is the exactly the opposite. People don’t come forward to report crimes because they know if they show up and they are undocumented, they are going to be deported,” Cox said.
Trump and the Border Wall
President Donald Trump, on Twitter, used the killing of Singh to push for the building of a border wall.
Cox said that a border wall is an ineffective idea.
“A border wall is a 12th-century solution to a 21st-century problem,” Cox said.
The issue has been a sticking point between Trump and Democratic leadership during the partial federal government shutdown.
“What this is all about is, Mr. Trump being able to make political points with his base,” Cox said. “The border wall represents such a small, tiny fraction of our government spending, that he’s going to shut down the entire government?”
Cox will be sworn in on Jan. 3, representing the 21st congressional district.