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Groups Speak Out To Support President Trump's Border Wall

Agnes Gibboney, a California woman whose 29-year-old son was killed by
a man who was here illegally, speaks during a conference organized by groups that support President Trump's border wall, Dec. 14, 2018.
Jean Guerrero
Agnes Gibboney, a California woman whose 29-year-old son was killed by a man who was here illegally, speaks during a conference organized by groups that support President Trump's border wall, Dec. 14, 2018.
Groups Speak Out To Support President Trump's Border Wall
Groups Speak Out To Support President Trump's Border Wall GUEST:Jean Guerrero, reporter, KPBS News

I'm Jade Hindmon from organizations near the scene and you see a port of entry speaking out against illegal immigration. Their message is build the wall. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer signed the wall or resign. They held a news conference near the port of entry where people come to the country legally. KPBS reporter Jean Guerrero is there and joins us now with a look at what's happening Jeanne welcome. Hi Jade. You're inside and you see Dreux and just heard from a few different groups. Tell us about the groups. Yes they're the main group here is Angel families. There were four moms and one father here who believe whose children were killed by people who are here illegally and they wanted to talk about their experiences. There's also a few other groups still to go Patriots in here for secure borders. In total about a dozen people up there sharing their stories and their and their messages. And so what was their message. So they talked about it. They urged Congress to find the wall. President Trump has been calling for five billion dollars to fund his border wall. They talked about how they support him and his his willingness to have a government shutdown in order. The President Trumps willingness to have a government shutdown over this funding. They shared some very heartbreaking stories. There was a woman Kathy Hall whose 18 year old daughter was struck by a driver who was here illegally and who allegedly didn't stop because he feared deportation. There was agone Agnus Giverny whose 29 year old son was killed and they just they said that they really believe that it is necessary to build a wall in order to avoid other people from going through the heartbreak that they that they have experienced. And now many people there to hear the group's message today. No I mean there were there were about the same amount of reporters as there were people standing up there sharing their stories. And how did those who are not part of that group react. So there were any counter protesters here but there's definitely you know people people who defend for example the caravan that is currently in Tijuana. They talk about how the use of language such as illegal aliens is dehumanizing. All of the families who spoke here today were referring to the people who had killed their children as illegal aliens and that is language that definitely creates a lot of fear and a lot of hatred towards immigrants in general. And you know I asked a few of the mothers about this and told them about some of the Central American mothers that I had interviewed in the care of mothers who had also lost their children to killings in their own home countries and ask them what they felt about that. And you know for example Cathy Hall whose 18 year old daughter was killed she told me that she really feels for she feels for these mothers as well that nobody should lose their child. And she thinks of some people really do have a right to be here to be in the United States. But she very much believes that nobody should cross the border illegally and that once you commit a crime such as crossing the border illegally you are more likely to commit other crimes as well. And you know and this this press conference it was in response to President Trumps recent meeting with Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Correct. Exactly. And the people who spoke here today were talking about you know shame on Nancy Pelosi and Schumer for you know the conversation that went on between them and President Trump about funding for the wall. And they really they really pushed for the nuts and the necessity of building the wall and they said that they would even support a government shutdown which is what President Trump said repeatedly in that meeting which was pretty remarkable. He said that he would be proud to shut the government down in order to have border security and the people in this rally today said that they would as well. One thing that I thought was interesting is I've read testimonies by these mothers from previous years. And one thing that they had repeatedly asked for was eliminating incentives for people to come here illegally such as implementing programs such as E Verify to ensure that people who work here illegally do not get employment. And that is something that we don't see our administration doing as we saw with the New York Times exposé President Trump has employed people who are here illegally as housekeepers only about five of his 565 companies actually use it verify and asked the families about this and they said Yeah you know we still don't see our president doing anything about that. But right now we want to focus on the wall and the need that we see for for that infrastructure. And why hold the conference today. They're near where people are sort of waiting to go through the legal process of seeking asylum which is much different than sneaking into the country illegally. Yeah I thought that was interesting. You know most people actually didn't mention the caravan at all. But a couple of those who did talked about it as as the president has talked about it before as as a group of people who intend to cross the border illegally which is really a mischaracterization. I mean even the word caravan is somewhat misleading because it paints a picture of the migrants as a homogenous group when in reality you're dealing with people with very diverse intentions some families who are willing to wait as long as it takes so that they can apply for asylum legally in the United States. And then you do see some minority members of that group who have told me that they are planning to cross the border illegally because they don't believe any asylum process. And I think it's just that that the complexity of that reality was sort of missing from the conversation here. I've been speaking with PBS reporter Jean Guerrero. Jeanne thank you very much. Thank you. You're listening to KPBS midday edition.

Multiple groups are holding a press conference near the border Friday to show their support for President Trump's proposed border wall.

The Angel Families, named for families of those killed by people in the country illegally, Frontline America, Fight Sanctuary State, San Diego Patriots and San Diegans for Secure Borders will be represented at an event being held in San Ysidro.

KPBS reporter Jean Guerrero will join Midday Edition Friday to discuss what the groups are asking for.