Mary Ann Mendoza, the mother of slain Sgt. Brandon Mendoza, will speak Saturday at Donald Trump’s Arizona rally. In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Mendoza explained why she is backing GOP frontrunner Donald Trump over Sen. Ted Cruz.
A 32 year-old Mesa police officer, Sgt. Brandon Mendoza was murdered by an intoxicated criminal illegal alien who was driving the wrong way down a freeway. At the time of the accident, the criminal alien had a blood alcohol level that was three times the legal limit and had been driving the wrong way for more than 35 miles on four different freeways. Although the alien had been convicted of previous crimes, he had not been deported.
Donald Trump is “the first person that I ever felt gave a damn about what’s happening to us,” Mary Ann Mendoza told Breitbart News ahead of her forthcoming appearance at Trump’s rally in Arizona.
Mendoza said that, by contrast, Ted Cruz is “not somebody I can trust,” adding:
He’s not steadfast in his word. When you have big money backing you and you want the presidency as bad as he does, you’re obviously going to do what you need to do in order to made good on your promises to the people who backed you and made it possible for you to get into the office.
“Big money is backing Cruz, and he’s going to become a puppet to those people directing him [to do] what they want,” she explained.
Mendoza said that while Cruz’s campaign staff has reached out to her to try to get her to film an endorsement commercial, Senator Cruz–unlike Trump–has never met with her: “The Cruz people reached out to me recently. … They reached out to me and wanted me to do a commercial to endorse Ted Cruz, and I told them I just couldn’t.”
“I didn’t want to endorse Cruz,” Mendoza said.
“I have a hard time sleeping at night, I have a hard time even thinking about what’s going to happen to this country if we don’t get someone like Donald Trump in office,” Mendoza said. “I’m to the point now where I’m just afraid of where this country is going. And I don’t want any other family to ever have to go through what we’ve had to go through.”
“We need somebody who is going to stand solid in their stance on closing the borders,” Mendoza declared. “It’s time for somebody to stand up to Americans and make sure that our voices are heard first; we’re the people who have lived here, worked here, and paid our taxes all of our lives.”
“Donald Trump is the only one who’s talked about this at his rallies,” Mendoza said. “Every time he gets an opportunity, he talks about the fact that this has affected us. And it’s not just losing lives. It’s losing jobs. [It’s] the debt that our country is going into because we’re supporting all of these illegals.”
“We finally have somebody who has listened and who has actually voiced it,” Mendoza said. Trump “has taken time to listen to us,” she said, continuing:
He has taken the time to meet with us, and he has had us at his rallies because whenever do we get the opportunity to talk about how this has affected our lives? And the American people are so busy with getting food on their tables and having a job. Who takes time to really think about this sort of thing? I didn’t prior to it happening to me. But I want to make damn sure it doesn’t happen to somebody else.
“Some of these other candidates are so afraid to even talk about stopping illegal immigration,” Mendoza said. “Who are they afraid of offending? The illegals?”
When asked if Sen. Cruz had ever met with her as Donald Trump had, Mendoza was unequivocal: “No, no, no,” she said.
Mendoza explained that she had spoken to Cruz once while she was at last year’s congressional hearing recognizing the American victims of illegal alien crime.
Mendoza said that Cruz spoke to her and some of the other victims. However, even though he “promised to reach out to us, we’ve never heard anything back from Ted Cruz–any of us,” she stated.
“None of us feel like he ever followed through like he told us he was going to,” she said.
Mendoza agreed with the frustrations articulated by other American victims of illegal alien crime, such as Maureen Maloney and Dan Golvach, who said they are tired of being used as a political photo-op:
I’ve had nobody; none of my senators in my state have reached out to me. None. And this was a very high profile killing; it was on the news for two weeks here. … None of my senators have reached out to me. None of the representatives have. Nobody has. … So when Donald Trump came through [Arizona] and actually invited me to speak at his rally, and I was able to meet with him, that’s the first person that I ever felt gave a damn about what’s happening to us.
Mendoza said she does not believe Cruz’s rhetoric on border security. “His voting record doesn’t stand for it,” Mendoza explained. She elaborated:
In the beginning, I believed the things he was saying, but as time has gone on and he’s done an about-face depending on the crowd he is speaking to, it made me realize that he’s not somebody I can trust. … And Kasich talking about approving amnesty within the first 100 days in office. I’m not interested in anybody who’s willing to put American lives at risk. I’m not interested in voting for anybody like that.
She explained that she has had enough of politicians who are beholden to their donors:
That’s what every one of them are doing. And that’s why I think Donald Trump is appealing to so many people because Washington is scared … of him; let’s just be honest. The backroom deals aren’t going to be made. You’re not going to have special interests who are going to be able to buy their way into, you know, buy politicians to vote the way they want them to vote. And there’s very few politicians who will actually listen to people in their areas and vote the way they want them to vote. They’re voting the way the special interests want them to vote. That’s going to be to the demise of this country.
Mendoza continued, explaining that she has been disturbed by talk of a brokered convention and denying Trump the nomination: “The talk that’s going on with the brokered convention and bringing someone else in, it sickens me to think that the voice of the American people is not being heard.”
To this day, the loss of Sgt. Mendoza can still be felt in Mesa, Arizona.
“Two years later almost from my son’s death … people are still coming up to me and telling me stories about my son,” Mendoza said. “The effect on the community here in Mesa with my son gone is huge. It’s been a huge impact.” She added:
Brandon, went down and worked in a community that had a park in the middle of the community. He was given the job by the police chief. He cleaned the whole park up. He got all of the homeless people out of the park. And he actually helped them get into places where homeless people are taken care of. Some of them had mental illnesses; he helped them get the help that they needed. He got all of the drug dealers out of the neighborhood. He cut the trees up so the park was visible from the streets when cops were driving by. He fought with the city to get security cameras up in the park. You drive by that park now, there are children and they’re running around and playing. I’ve had children come up to me in that neighborhood when I’ve been there at the Boys & Girls Club that he went to all the time, telling me, “I’m going to be a police officer because I loved your son and what he did.”
“He made me want to do something for the community,” one young girl from the community told Mendoza recently.
“My son taught me to stand up for what I believe in,” Mendoza said, explaining that it is her son’s devotion to his community that has inspired her to speak out about this issue. “There are so many victims [of illegal alien crime] who are still in the shadows and are afraid to come out because of the way that the media treat them, [the way the] politicians treat them, and the way that their neighbors treat them because of it,” she asserted. “But because of who my son was, I will never shut up–ever. Never.”
I can’t just curl up in a ball in a fetal position and feel like I want to die every day–because, trust me, I feel like that a lot because he’s gone. But I have to stand up and fight for him. And I have to stand up and fight for his life and what he stood for. And that’s what every one of us who are parents who are speaking out are doing–not only for our own children, but for all of our other brothers and sisters whom we’ve met through these tragedies who’ve lost their children and the future people who are going to be losing their children and loved ones. It’s going to keep happening. … I’m going to keep doing the things that my son would have been doing if he were still alive. That’s what I’m trying to make out of my tragedy.