Reggie Singh — the brother of Newman, Calif., police officer Ronil Singh who was killed on Christmas night by an undocumented immigrant during a traffic stop — traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas Jan. 10 with President Donald Trump, and spoke out against undocumented immigrants.
Trump has repeatedly referenced Ronil Singh, a Fijian Indian American officer who was working an extra shift on the night he was killed by Gustavo Perez Arriaga, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. Singh stopped Arriaga on suspicion of drunken driving; the suspect fatally shot the officer, 33 at the time of his death, and then attempted to flee to Mexico. He was apprehended in Bakersfield, Calif., two days later after a massive manhunt involving several law enforcement agencies. Arriaga had two previous DUIs. (see earlier story: https://bit.ly/2EO0Vj2)
Trump has seized on Singh’s death to make his case for a border wall, in the midst of a government shut-down over the issue.
At a press conference in McAllen, Texas, Reggie Singh spoke emotionally about his brother’s death as Trump sat beside him. “We migrated legally to America so that my brother could fulfill his dream of becoming a cop.”
Ronil Singh took his citizenship before enrolling in the police academy in Turlock, Calif. He joined the Newman police force in 2011.
“The way he was killed..” said Reggie Singh, choking up. “No family should ever have to go through that.”
“Whatever it takes to support that, my family is fully behind it,” he said, implicitly stating his support for the border wall. He spoke about having to cremate his young brother’s ashes, and about the officer’s five-month-old child, who is now fatherless.
Trump stood up after Singh spoke, and shook his hand.
Earlier, Singh gave a more explicit response to Fox News. "The day I found out that the suspect was an illegal immigrant and had prior DUIs ... why did we not react the first time he had a DUI if he is an illegal immigrant?" he said. "Illegal immigrants, we shouldn't be giving a second chance to them.”
“If he had been deported, my brother would be alive. I wouldn’t be doing this interview now,” said Singh, echoing Trump’s argument that much of the country’s crime can e attributed to undocumented immigration.
“Ronil looking down, I know all he wanted was justice. When the suspect was apprehended, it felt good.”
Singh said his family migrated in 2003 via sponsors. “We are law-abiding American citizens,” he said, speaking of his brother’s family and K9 dog Sam, who have been grieving deeply since the death of Ronil.
“A wonderful young police officer was shot and killed just for stopping someone who had come illegally across the border,” said Trump.
“America’s heart broke the day after Christmas, when a young police officer in California was savagely murdered in cold blood by an illegal alien,” Trump said. “The life of an American hero was stolen by someone who had no right to be in our country.”