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Walker Shares Story of Archdale Resident Harmed By Illegal Immigration on the House Floor

February 7, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  U.S. Representative Mark Walker (R-N.C.) tonight led a "special order" on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives where he shared the story of Sharon Gross, a constituent from Archdale, N.C. who has been negatively impacted because of illegal immigration.

"As her daughter was driving home, she saw a white SUV heading the opposite direction swerve from the outer lane," Walker said. "The vehicle hit them head on. Sharon described the next moment: 'The next thing I remember was the sound of the metal crashing and twisting in front of us. I vaguely remember everyone running to us and telling us to get out because the car was about to explode. I couldn’t get out and could barely breathe.'"

"The driver of the white SUV was a man by the name of Mr. Rodriguez,"
Walker continued. "He had a blood alcohol concentration of .20, two and a half times the legal limit. Mr. Rodriguez is in our country illegally. He did not own the vehicle he was driving, nor did he have a driver’s license. This was his third drunk driving charge. He served only eleven months in prison and has now been released."


Watch the full speech and read the transcript here and below:

 

 

"What makes this such a calamity is not only the cost to the Americans we have talked about tonight, but the fact that these tragedies are completely avoidable if Congress would do its job and secure the border.
 
"I want to tell you about Miss Sharon Gross from my district in North Carolina. Just over a year ago, Sharon had finished a five mile bike ride with her eighteen year old daughter at Creekside Park in Archdale. They began the trip home in “Roxie,” the vehicle her daughter had received for her sixteenth birthday.
 
"As her daughter was driving home, she saw a white SUV heading the opposite direction swerve from the outer lane. The vehicle hit them head on. Sharon described the next moment: “The next thing I remember was the sound of the metal crashing and twisting in front of us. I vaguely remember everyone running to us and telling us to get out because the car was about to explode. I couldn’t get out and could barely breathe.”
 
"Sharon thanks God that her daughter was largely unharmed, but Sharon suffered 5 broken bones in her back and a severely broken sternum, leaving a large hole in her chest. She has chronic pain that impacts her daily life.
 
"The driver of the white SUV was a man by the name of Mr. Rodriguez. He had a blood alcohol concentration of .20, two and a half times the legal limit. Mr. Rodriguez is in our country illegally. He did not own the vehicle he was driving, nor did he have a driver’s license. This was his third drunk driving charge. He served only eleven months in prison and has now been released.
 
"Mr. Rodriguez’s time in prison may have come to an end, but the physical, mental, and emotional scars Sharon has will never fade. Making matters worse, Mr. Rodriguez was uninsured, leaving thousands of dollars in medical bills adding to the emotional and physical pain for Sharon’s family.
 
"Sharon said, 'It is very difficult for me to have all this constant pain and then deal with all the emotions I am feeling about someone who comes into our country illegally and gets a little pat on the hand when he breaks all our laws.'"
 
"'To say my life was shattered is an understatement."
 
"We can do better. We have to do better. For Sharon and all the Americans who have been impacted by illegal immigration.
 
'That means an all of the above approach to border security, including construction of additional physical barriers. Border security not only helps us keep our families safe, but it also continues the American tradition of being a welcoming nation.
 
"Many of us are proud of our are legal immigrant heritage. Though it goes under-reported, America has the most generous legal system in the world. Think about that for a minute. We proudly welcome one million legal immigrants into our country each year.
 
"In fact, in 2016 America opened its doors to 1,183,505 legal permanent residents and in 2017 the number was 1,127,167.
 
"These are people from all over the world who’ve raised their hand promising to obey the laws of our land and contribute to our blessed nation.
 
"As President Trump said on this very floor just two days ago, 'legal immigrants enrich our Nation and strengthen our society in countless ways. I want people to come into our country, but they have to come in legally.'"
 
"America can do both. We can continue to be the beacon of hope throughout the world and we can do much better in protecting the American people. After all, it’s the first oath we take.
 
"The clock is ticking. We face another impasse next week. Will our Democratic colleagues support common sense policies to end this crisis? Or will they continue to disengage on solutions, suggesting ideas like abolishing ICE and stopping additional funding for the Department of Homeland Security?
 
"It’s time to put productivity over personality and people over politics. Anything less would be immoral."

 

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