Their Loved Ones Were Killed By Undocumented Immigrants, But They're Split On Trump's Rhetoric

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump shares the stage with people whose family members were killed by undocumented immigrants during a campaign rally outlining his Immigration Policy on Aug. 31, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
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Actress Adrienne Shelly was murdered by an undocumented immigrant in 2006. But in a recent op-ed published in the New York Times, her husband, Andy Ostroy, says he’s not seduced by Donald Trump’s rhetoric about deporting undocumented immigrants before they commit crimes.

On the other hand, some family members of victims murdered by undocumented immigrants do welcome Trump’s promises.

In 2015, Wendy Hartling‘s daughter, Casey Chadwick, was killed by a Haitian citizen who the U.S. government failed to deport despite his having spent time in prison before the murder.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Ostroy (@AndyOstroy) and Hartling about the issue.

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Interview Highlights:

Andy Ostroy

On what he thinks of Trump

Because it would be an oversimplification of a very complicated situation. I think there’s a lot of dangerous rhetoric that has been thrown around in this campaign, particularly by Donald Trump. The scapegoating of immigrants on a wholesale level is just not something I subscribe to. … These facts just don’t support his rhetoric. It’s designed to toss buckets of red meat and chum to his base. To the contrary, when you do look at statistics and facts, Americans have much more to fear from their fellow Americans than they do from undocumented immigrants.

On the U.S. judicial system

There’s a fair argument to be made that our judicial system doesn’t do its job in fully protecting our citizens. We absolutely need better border control; we need immigration reform desperately; we need to deport criminals who are arrested for committing major crimes. I’m a proponent of all of that but I am not ready to take the leap from that to “and therefore, immigrants are the hearts of the problem.”

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Wendy Hartling

On why she supports Trump

I’m a registered Democrat — have been a Democrat forever. But this time, [Trump] has got my vote. He has mentioned my daughter twice in two of his rallies. He’s done so much with the Remembrance Project that there’s no possible way I would vote for anybody else. I had not heard one word from Hillary about any of this.

On what needs to be done

I understand where [Ostroy’s] coming from. I have a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness that nothing could happen. But this whole situation with me having my daughter taking from me so horribly just made me decide I’m going to fight. I will do whatever I can to help and to ensure that these laws that we have are either made better or enforced better. We were all immigrants at one time or another. So my beef isn’t with all immigrants; it’s just the ones that come over here and they commit heinous crimes, and they maybe go to jail, maybe don’t, maybe they just disappear, never to be seen of again.

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