Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump met Tuesday with Virginia father Ray Tranchant, whose child was killed as a result of lax immigration enforcement policies during then-Governor Tim Kaine’s administration.
Tranchant’s sixteen year old daughter, Tessa, was murdered in 2007 by an illegal alien drunk driver, Alfredo Ramos.
On two separate occasions, Ramos had been arrested and released under then-Governor Kaine’s administration before Ramos eventually went on to murder Tranchant’s daughter.
Tessa and her best friend, 17-year-old Allison Kunhardt, were stopped at a stoplight and were wearing their seatbelts when Ramos crashed into the back of their vehicle at over 70 mph. The girls were killed instantly. Ramos had a blood alcohol level that was three times the legal limit.
During his meeting with the Donald Trump, Tranchant said he had reached out to Kaine at the time. Tranchant said he went to Kaine’s office to discuss why an illegal alien, who had been arrested twice with a previous DUI offense, had not been deported, but was instead allowed to roam free and remain in the country before eventually killing Tranchant’s teenage daughter.
Tranchant said that when asked, Kaine’s office indicated that he was “not interested” in enforcing U.S. immigration law.
— Dan Scavino Jr. (@DanScavino) September 6, 2016
“I became an advocate for change,” Tranchant told Trump during the Tuesday meeting. “I even went to Tim Kaine and his office. I talked to his legal counsel. I said, ‘Why don’t we enforce the law? 287(g). It provides state police training, we can find the status of illegal immigrants. And he said, ‘I’m sorry, I’m not interested.'” Tranchant said.
Last week, Kaine made headlines by falsely suggesting that sanctuary cities, which have resulted in the deaths and victimization of innocent Americans, are “phantom” and do not exist. Trump’s campaign demanded that Kaine apologize for the statement.
Trump’s National Policy Director, Stephen Miller, wrote in a statement to Mediaite:
Tim Kaine’s comment is an insult to the countless Americans who have been killed by Sanctuary City policies, and is further evidence that Clinton-Kaine have no regard for the innocent lives threatened by their open borders policies. There are now 300 federally-recognized Sanctuary Cities — which, in a 19-month period, together refused more than 17,000 detainers for high-risk illegal immigrants and criminals resulting in harm to countless Americans… Kaine should retract his comment at once, and apologies to the families who have suffered.
Indeed, Kaine’s statement suggesting that Sanctuary Cities do not exist is particularly remarkable given that Tranchant lost his daughter as a direct result of then-Governor Kaine’s support for lax immigration enforcement.
Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly commented on Tranchant’s death at the time, and noted that Governor Kaine did not “seem to care” about stopping illegal alien crime. O’Reilly said:
Once again, a sanctuary city policy has killed Americans. As we reported last night, 17-year-old Allison Kunhardt and 16-year-old Tessa Tranchant were killed by an illegal alien drunk driver in Virginia. The man, 22-year-old Alfredo Ramos from Mexico, had three previous alcohol-related convictions, and also an identity-theft conviction, but he had never been sentenced to prison. The incidents all took place in and around Virginia Beach, which is a sanctuary city. That means the authorities do not report criminal illegal aliens to the feds, unless it’s a drastic situation… The governor of Virginia, Timothy Kaine, he doesn’t seem to care much about policing illegal aliens.
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News last week, Trump denounced Clinton for refusing to meet with the American victims of illegal alien crime. “It’s terrible,” Trump said. “She pays no respect to those incredible people who have lost their children — in most cases children — but children and brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers. But it seems to be mostly children. These are great people. These are great citizens of our country and she doesn’t even talk about it. It’s very strange.”
Tranchant, who supports Trump over Clinton, said that he has been astonished by the “incredible craziness” of the government’s failure to enforce immigration laws. “We have 10,000 MS-13 gang members in the United States,” Tranchant said. “That’s the incredible craziness that’s going on that I just can’t believe. And believe me, I have a very focused attention to this subject because it affected me. And I wouldn’t wish this upon anybody.”
“There’s no group, just like our candidate, [there’s no group] of people whom I hate. I don’t hate the guy who killed my daughter. I forgive him. I don’t hate people that are illegal. I don’t hate them at all… but I don’t like the way the government is handling this,” Tranchant added.
In 2010, Tranchant wrote the following about his daughter’s death:
My 16-year-old daughter, Tessa, was killed by an illegal immigrant in Virginia Beach three years ago while sitting at a stop light. Her friend Ali Kunhardt, 17, also perished instantly.
Beautiful girls with tons of future plans, they had just stopped at a convenience store for a pack of gum at 10 on a Friday night. I can imagine that they were giggling about something as they waited for the red light to turn green. Tessa was in the passenger seat. I’ll never forget her laugh.
The explosion was so loud that witnesses said it sounded like a bomb going off, hit from behind by a black Mitsubishi going more than 70 mph. They were tiny, skinny little girls stuffed somewhere in the floorboards when the police and EMT crew arrived.
When I got to the hospital in what seemed like a dream sequence, Tessa’s bed was lying next to Ali’s, separated by a privacy curtain. Both girls were perfectly still, skin cold to the touch.
Tess was covered with a hospital blanket, and her clothes lay in a bag by her bedside, cut off by the EMT and the ER doctor who tried to revive her, to no avail. I looked at her large brown eyes, pupils dilated, eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling. She still had a mask taped to her mouth with a long rubber tube. The center of the tube was filled with bright red blood. Amazingly, she had only a little bruise on her forehead, and her big toe was bleeding. I noticed that she had had a couple of her nails done with glitter, probably had just enough money to do two. She worked at the Golden Corral; Ali worked at The Fresh Market.
I hadn’t seen Tessa in a few days, and I had to laugh at her forearm. Hard to believe you can laugh with such horror around you, but I did. She had previously told me that she suffered from the “Tranchant curse” — dark hair on her skinny little perfect arms — and apparently she had shaved it all off (her way of getting even, I guess).
Alfredo Ramos, a previous DUI offender and alcoholic, seemed invisible in a system that was good at looking the other way. Virginia Beach and Chesapeake were being accused of being “sanctuary cities” as Bill O’Reilly and Geraldo Rivera screamed at each other during the national news hour. O’Reilly was right.
I know what sanctuary means more than most ever will.
Ramos was actually smug at the trial and took his lumps: 40 years in prison. There was nothing I could do but forgive him; forgiveness cleanses the soul. He was an uneducated foreigner patronized by local merchants who needed cheap labor.
Hundreds of thousands of illegals in Virginia do the same. We don’t share a border with Mexico, so the awareness here isn’t as great as Arizona or California.
But the dilemma in Arizona is more important to Virginians than it seems.