Mother of murdered daughter: Border crisis is safety issue for all Americans

(The Center Square) – A Virginia mother on Thursday told members of Congress that Biden administration policies enabled a teenage Salvadoran and MS-13 gang member to illegally enter the country and brutally rape and strangle to death her autistic daughter.

In her statement before the House Homeland Security Committee, Tammy Nobles said that on July 27, 2022, three days after her daughter, Kayla Hamilton, turned 20, she “received the worst news that a parent doesn’t want to hear.” Her daughter, who was autistic, was found “murdered in her own room and left on the floor like trash.”

She had been strangled to death and brutally raped by an MS-13 gang member and Salvadoran who illegally entered the country but was released by Border Patrol agents because he was an unaccompanied minor (UAC). He was transported by the federal government to Aberdeen, Maryland, where he claimed his aunt lived. In actuality, he rented a room in a trailer park from another illegal foreign national, authorities found.

After breaking into Kayla’s home, the Salvadoran “brutally raped and murdered my daughter by strangling her with a cord and robbed her of $6,” Nobles said through tears. During the attack, Kayla called her boyfriend for help but the call went to voicemail. The voicemail captured two and a half minutes of the sounds of her struggling, fighting for and losing her life.

“Let’s take a moment and think about how Kayla felt that day,” Nobles said. “How scared she must have been knowing that she was dying. And if she was going to see her mommy again, her baby sister, her brother or her cat, Oreo. Kayla fought for her life that day with all that she had. In the end, she lost to an individual that wasn’t even supposed to be allowed in the country.

“For me, this not a political issue. This a safety issue for everyone living in the United States. This could have been anyone’s daughter. I don’t want any other parent to live the nightmare that I am living. I am her voice now and I am going to fight with everything I have to get her story told and bring awareness of the issue at the border.”

If there were stricter border policies, Nobles said, her daughter would still be alive.

“Nothing will bring my daughter back nor fix the pain of not having her here, but I want to prevent this from happening to someone else’s child. This isn’t about immigration. This is about protecting everyone in the United States.”

Nobles said Department of Homeland Security policies led to the Salvadoran’s release because Border Patrol agents “failed to visually inspect the assailant by lifting his shirt to check for gang related tattoos.” Had they done so, “they would have seen MS-13 gang related tattoos on his body, disqualifying him from entering the US,” she said.

After a multi-agency investigation was launched, the assailant who had fled the scene was eventually caught, arrested and charged with first degree murder. He is currently being held without bail.

Nobles also raised concerns about DHS Unaccompanied Children policies, concerns others have raised as hundreds of thousands of UACs have been released into the country, the overwhelming majority who are male. Maryland has received the fifth-greatest number of UACs in recent years; under Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas more than 6,000 arrived there in fiscal 2022.

Like Nobles, Americans living thousands of miles from the border have found themselves victims of violent crimes committed by repeat offenders illegally entering the U.S., The Center Square has reported. Law enforcement officials have also warned about targeted crimes committed by foreign nationals impacting Americans nationwide. CBP officials have also arrested 751 known gang members in fiscal 2022, 598 in fiscal 2023 and 83 in the first quarter of fiscal 2024, according to CBP data.

Florida state Rep. Kiyan Michael, R-Jacksonville, has also sounded the alarm after her son was killed by a twice-deported “illegal alien who should not have been here.” She has vowed, “As Angel parents, we are not going to stop securing our nation and preventing this from happening to somebody else.”

Nobles, who has previously testified before Congress, spoke on Thursday as part of several hearings held by Republican members of the House to make the case to impeach and remove Mayorkas from office.

Nearly a year ago, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, demanded answers from the Biden administration about the number of criminal aliens and violent gang members living in the U.S. Last May, the committee published a report detailing its findings of an investigation into Kayla’s murder.

It concluded, “The Biden Administration’s open-borders policies are dangerous and do not prioritize the safety of American citizens. The Department of Homeland Security is failing to perform even the most basic of measures to ensure that the aliens entering the U.S. are not dangerous criminals or known gang members. The Biden Administration’s disregard for the safety of Americans directly resulted in the tragic and – sadly, preventable – murder of Kayla Hamilton.”

Nobles recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against DHS seeking $100 million, alleging agency polices and employee negligence led to her daughter’s death.

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