Thank you. First of all, I’d like to thank the members of this committee for the honor to speak to you about our daughter Kate.
All children are special in their own way. Kate was special in the way she connected with people. We call it the “Kate effect.” Kate was beautiful. She was kind. She was loving, and deep in faith. Kate had a special soul, a kind heart, the most contagious laugh, and a smile that would light up a room.
Kate loved to travel, spend time with her friends—and most of all—spend time with her family. In fact, the day she was killed we were walking arm-in-arm on Pier 14 in San Francisco, enjoying a wonderful day together. Suddenly a shot rang out, Kate fell, looked at me and said, “help me dad.” Those are the last words I will ever hear from my daughter.
The day Kate died she changed her Facebook cover photo to a saying that said, “what’s ever good for your soul, do that.” This quote truly describes her spirit.
After graduating from Cal Poly [California Polytechnic State University] at San Luis Obispo, she went to work for a title company and saved her money so she could travel the world.
She traveled to Spain, Thailand, Amsterdam, Dubai, South Africa, just to name a few. She even made her way to the slums in Mumbai, India, to reach out to her friend’s mother’s nanny. She spent time there with the woman’s family and came home a changed person.
Everywhere Kate went throughout the world, she shined the light of a good citizen of the United States of America.
Unfortunately, due to disjointed laws and basic incompetence on many levels, the U.S. has suffered a self-inflicted wound in the murder of our daughter by the hand of a person that should never been on the streets of this country.
I say this because the alleged murderer is an undocumented immigrant who has been convicted of seven felonies in the U.S. and already deported five times. Yet in March of this year he was released from jail to stay here freely because of legal loopholes. It’s unbelievable to see so many innocent Americans [who] have been killed by undocumented immigrant felons in recent years.
In fact, we recently came across a statistic that says: between 2010 and 2014, criminal aliens who had an active deportation case at the time of release were subsequently charged with homicide-related offenses. Think about that: 121 times over four years an illegal immigrant—a violent, illegal immigrant—with prior criminal convictions later went on to be charged with murder when [that person] should have been deported. That’s one every 12 days.
Our family realizes the complexities of immigration laws; however, we feel strongly that some legislation should be discussed, enacted, or changed, to take these undocumented immigrant felons off our streets for good. We would be proud to see Kate’s name associated with some of this new legislation. We feel that if Kate’s loss saves one daughter, one son, a father or a mother, Kate’s death won’t be in vain. Thank you.