Republicans use Portuguese murder suspect as justification to build Mexican border wall

in News · 21-02-2019 09:56:00 · 0 Comments
Republicans use Portuguese murder suspect as justification to build Mexican border wall

The murder of an American woman, Valerie Reyes, allegedly caused by Portuguese-Venezuelan national Javier Enrique da Silva Rojas, has been used in a Republican video to call for the construction of a wall along the US-Mexico border, Lusa News Agency reported.

The Republican Party posted a video on Twitter where Valerie Reyes’s murder is highlighted as an example of “what can happen when border security is neglected,” according to coverage by Connecticut’s News 12.

Showing press coverage of the murder of Valerie Reyes (24), who was found dead in a suitcase in the city of Greenwich, the video was uploaded by the Connecticut Republican Party’s Twitter account last Thursday, but was removed shortly after due to complaints from the victim’s family.

Reyes’ relatives reportedly said they did not want her name to be used for political purposes.

The authors of the video pointed a finger of blame at Connecticut’s two Democratic senators responsible for the murder, saying, “Valerie Reyes is dead, your silence is deafening.”

They also demanded the two senators acted to “secure the border now,” adding that the alleged murderer, Javier da Silva, is in the United States illegally.

One of the Democrat senators singled out, Richard Blumenthal, said the Republicans had used this case to distort the truth and had been dishonest, saying the border wall would not have stopped Javier da Silva from entering the United States.

“What we need is a 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”, the senator said.

Several news outlets report that the suspect, who holds dual citizenship in Venezuela and Portugal, flew to the United States from Portugal, while others say it was from Venezuela.

Portuguese citizens can apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) visa waiver and visit the US for up to 90 days.

According to the police, Javier da Silva entered the US in May 2017, which means that he has overstayed his visa for a year and a half.

The victim’s mother reportedly said that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) has failed, but asked for the video to be removed, saying Valerie Reyes’s death should not be used in the polarised political debate on immigration.

Javier Da Silva has been charged with one count of kidnapping resulting in death, which carries a sentence of death or life in prison.
According to Geoffrey S. Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, “As alleged, Javier Da Silva is charged with committing a gruesome kidnapping that resulted in the death of a young woman. Thanks to the excellent work of the FBI and its local law enforcement partners, Da Silva will need to answer for his alleged actions in court.”

Javier da Silva is being held in custody and will appear before a court on 13 March.

At a later conference, Greenwich Police Capt. Robert Berry said that the investigation is continuing and that “the suspect has admitted a role in Valerie’s death.”


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