Connecticut GOP video ties Valerie Reyes suitcase death to border wall debate
Connecticut Republicans are taking heat for a video posted on Twitter last night tying the death of Valerie Reyes to the current debate over a Mexican border wall.
Reyes’ body was found in a suitcase in Greenwich. The video points out that Reyes’ suspected killer, Javier Da Silva, is in the U.S. illegally. State Republicans say the video was only meant to highlight what can happen when border security is lax.
The video urges Connecticut's two senators to “secure the border now.” Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal said the ad is distorted and dishonest. Da Silva didn’t cross the Mexican border. He overstayed a visa after flying to the U.S. from Portugal.
"What we need is real, comprehensive immigration reform that will prevent visa overstays that were exploited by this hideous, abhorrent murderer -- not distorted and fictional attempts to exploit this kind of tragic incident,” said Blumenthal.
The video, posted the day after Reyes was buried, touched a nerve with Reyes' family. Reyes’ aunt said it’s “sad” that political groups are using her death this way. She told News 12 Connecticut that “this is not an immigration thing.”
Norma Sanchez is angry her daughter was used for political purposes.
"I think it's disgusting," says Sanchez.
But she agrees that the immigration system is broken.
"ICE failed me because they should have been more -- they should have done their job when it comes to people like this monster," says Sanchez.
The head of the state Republican Party says they're just pointing out that Democrats seem unconcerned with immigration and national security.
State Republican Party Chairman JR Romano says the whole point of the video was to hold Democrats responsible for border security because "there are real victims in this crisis." At the family's request, Romano took the video down today.