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Immigration White House

Here are the stories of Trump’s speech guests whose relatives were killed by people in the U.S. illegally

 (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
(Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)

During his first address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, Donald Trump highlighted Californians whose loved ones were gunned down by people in the U.S. illegally as he announced the creation of an office to help American victims of such crimes.

"We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests. Joining us in the audience tonight are four very brave Americans whose government failed them," Trump said. "... I want you to know that we will never stop fighting for justice. Your loved ones will never ever be forgotten; we will always honor their memory."

He did not offer details on what this new office, to be called Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement and housed in the Department of Homeland Security, would do.

But Trump’s focus on the family members and their murdered relatives was a continuation of a tactic he frequently employed on the campaign trail as he vowed to crack down on illegal immigration. The four relatives were among several guests who sat with First Lady Melania Trump during the speech.

Here are their stories:

Jamiel Shaw’s 17-year-old son was walking to his Los Angeles home in 2008 when two men, both Latino, asked what gang he belonged to. When he failed to respond, he was shot twice by Pedro Espinoza, a gang member who had recently been released from jail. His father heard the shots and raced outside to find his son bleeding on the sidewalk.

The teen, who shared his father’s name, was a high school student and standout football player who was being looked at by NCAA Division I colleges. He reportedly had no gang affiliations and was a serious student and regular churchgoer. His mother, an Army sergeant, flew back from her second tour of duty in Iraq for his funeral.

Jamiel Shaw Jr.'s murder sparked an outcry over local government policies for dealing with those in the country illegally.

Shaw Sr. strongly supported Trump during the election, speaking during the Republican National Convention and appearing with Trump at multiple rallies, including one in Costa Mesa.

Espinoza was sentenced to the death penalty in 2012.

The other Californians in the audience Tuesday were Jessica Davis and Susan Oliver, the widows of two Northern California sheriff’s deputies who were shot in 2014 by a convicted felon who had twice been deported to Mexico; and Jenna Oliver, the daughter of one of the slain deputies.

Trump singled out the daughter to offer solace.

"I want you to know that your father was a hero, and that tonight you have the love of an entire country supporting you and praying for you," he said.

Her father, Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Danny Oliver, had approached a couple in a vehicle in a strip mall parking lot when a man suspected to be Luis Enrique Monroy Bracamontes shot him in the forehead.

The couple in the car fled, and 30 miles away, the man shot Placer County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Davis Jr. when he approached the couple in an allegedly car-jacked vehicle.

Davis died 26 years to the day after his father died in the line of duty as a Riverside County sheriff's deputy.

Bracamontes was also accused of injuring another officer and a civilian. The suspect was apprehended after a six-hour chase.

In the following days, investigators learned that Bracamontes had been deported to Mexico in 1997 after his arrest and conviction in Arizona for possession of narcotics for sale, and that he was arrested and sent back to Mexico a second time in 2001.

Bracamontes, who is scheduled to go to trial in October, has tried to plead guilty to the murders.

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