GALES FERRY – A Connecticut mother standing behind President-elect Donald Trump in his planned crackdown of undocumented immigrants with criminal records after she lost her daughter at the hands of an illegal immigrant with a long rap sheet.
Wendy Hartling understands immigration; her mother is off-the-boat from Ireland; however, when it comes to criminal aliens, she sides with Trump.
According to the federal government, Jaques should have been deported long before Chadwick's murder.
Federal authorities had tried deport Jacques three times, according to a report from the Office of the Inspector General, but Haiti officials wouldn't take him back after he served 17 years behind bars for a 1997 attempted murder conviction.
Jacques killed Chadwick after he was released from prison.
A federal report released in June said immigration officials could have done more to deport Jacques. He was one of just 20,000 criminal immigrants released by the Department of Homeland Security last year.
“Just the fact that she should still be here is very hard,” her mother Wendy Hartling said. “If ICE and the federal government did what they promised, the laws that they have in place, they are there and they don't work and she should still be here.”
Hartling is part of a group called the Remembrance Project, which advocates for families whose loved ones were killed by illegal aliens.
“It’s a group nobody wants to belong to, we're all angel moms, angel dads,” Hartling said. “Every person in this group has lost a child or a loved one to an illegal criminal alien.”
Hartling stands behind Trump’s plan to deport people like Jaques.
“It’s the ones that are over here illegally, they commit crimes and then they don't get deported back they get returned right onto our streets, that is what Donald Trump wants to stop, that’s what our Remembrance Group is always fighting for,” Hartling said. “So no other family has to go through this pain and this agony that we deal with every single second of our waking lives.”
In an interview with "60 minutes," Trump unveiled his plan to deport undocumented immigrants focusing on convicted criminals.
“What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, we have a lot of these people—probably two million, it could be even three million—we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate,” the president-elect said. “But we’re getting them out of our country. They’re here illegally.”
Senator Chris Murphy says he’s willing to work with Trump to reform our immigration laws, but does not feel he has a focused plan.
“I want tougher borders, I want out of this country undocumented immigrants who have committed serious crimes, but there aren't 3 million of those so I'm hopefully going to be able to work with Donald Trump on a comprehensive plan to reform our immigration laws but we have to use the same set of facts,” Sen. Murphy said. “Let’s work on getting the Jean Jaques of this country the hell out of here, let's not focus on peaceful law-abiding immigrants who deserve a chance to get in line to apply for citizenship.”
Hartling has been working with Connecticut Democrats to pass Casey’s Law, which would crack down on countries that refuse U.S. officials’ attempts to deport dangerous criminals.