President Donald Trump has invited Evelyn Rodriguez to attend his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday. Rodriguez’s 16-year-old daughter, Kayla Cuevas, and a 15-year-old friend were beaten and stabbed to death by MS-13 gang members.
The president has vowed to dismantle the gang, responsible for countless crimes including murder and drug trafficking.
Four gang members have been charged in the September 2016 murder of the two teens.
The New York Post reported that Rodriguez, who lives in Long Island, New York, said her attendance of the SOTU address is not related to the immigration debate that is certain to be center stage inside and outside of the United States Capitol on Tuesday night.
“I just want what’s right to be done,” Rodriguez told the New York Times.
“Everybody should put their political agenda aside and think about what’s going on in our country,” Rodriguez said.
In June, Rodriguez gave an emotional testimony to a congressional subcommittee.
“I want these criminals coming into our country to be stopped,” Rodriguez said.
Fox News reported:
The gang, responsible for dozens of gruesome deaths throughout the U.S., was designated a “priority” last year by the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. Prosecutors are able to pursue any legal avenue to target MS-13, according to Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions.
Gang members perpetuate a number of various criminal acts, according to the FBI, including: murder, rape, home invasions, kidnapping, carjacking and robbery. The FBI said most of the crimes are carried out against members of rival gangs, but “often” innocent people are hurt in the crimes as well.
White House officials have said Trump’s address will focus on the economy, trade, immigration, national security, and the successes of the president’s first year in office.