President Trump on Friday declared Nov. 1 a day of remembrance for Americans killed by illegal immigrants -- seeking to highlight his policies curbing illegal immigration in the last days of his reelection campaign.
“On this National Day of Remembrance, we pause to honor the memory of every American life so egregiously taken from us by criminal illegal aliens,” Trump said in a proclamation. “As sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and as American citizens, these precious lives are an irreplaceable piece of our national community.”
“We solemnly stand with their families -- our Angel Families -- who have endured what no American family should ever have to suffer,” he said. “Today, we recommit to ensuring that those responsible for these tragedies face justice, while taking every action to prevent these horrific acts from occurring in our Nation.”
In the proclamation, the president noted Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for the work they do at the border to protect Americans “from the senseless crimes that our Angel Families have had to endure.”
Illegal immigration has not been as front-and-center in the 2020 campaign as it was in 2016. The Trump campaign and the administration sought to draw attention to it in recent weeks -- particularly the contrast with the policies of Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
The administration held an event this week marking nearly 400 miles of wall built at the southern border. It also announced a number of operations targeting criminal illegal immigrants across the country.
Biden’s campaign meanwhile has taken aim at what it describes as Trump’s “anti-immigrant agenda.”
“All they have to offer is four more years of hateful rhetoric and division and policies that will end America’s historic role as a symbol of freedom and prosperity, and as a beacon of hope for those fleeing violence and oppression anywhere in the world,” Biden said in a statement Friday.
On Friday, Trump cited the creation by DHS of the VOICE office -- Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement -- as well as the deployment of 4,000 National Guard personnel to the border.
He also said that 20,000 gang members and more than 500,000 criminal illegal immigrants have been deported.
“On this National Day of Remembrance, we pay tribute to the enduring memory of every American killed by an illegal alien,” he said. “They will never be forgotten, and we will stand by their families and fight for a future where every American is safe.”
The proclamation makes Nov. 1, 2020, the “National Day of Remembrance for Americans Killed by Illegal Aliens” and calls on Americans to “observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”