President Trump mentioned the recent death of Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson in a tweet Tuesday morning calling for tougher immigration laws.
Jackson, 26, and Uber driver Jeffrey Monroe, 54, died early Sunday after a suspected drunk driver in a pickup truck struck them as they stood outside a car along an Indianapolis highway.
Police said the man being held as a suspect in the case, Manuel Orrego-Savala, 37, is a citizen of Guatemala who was deported from the U.S. in 2007 and 2009 and is again living here illegally.
“So disgraceful that a person illegally in our country killed Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday. “This is just one of many such preventable tragedies. We must get the Dems to get tough on the Border, and with illegal immigration, FAST!”
Five minutes later, Trump tweeted out his condolences to Jackson’s family.
Police believe Jackson and Monroe were standing outside the vehicle because Jackson became ill during the Uber ride. Orrego-Savala was driving without a license and initially gave officers a fake name after he was caught, police said. His blood alcohol content was nearly three times Indiana’s legal limit, according to a breath test administered at the scene.
Orrego-Savala remained in jail on Monday but still hadn’t been charged in the crash.
Trump isn’t the only politician using Jackson’s death to call for stronger policies on immigration. U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) said Monday in a statement that “the loss of life at the hands of illegal immigrant criminals should make all Hoosiers sad and ultimately angry.”
“We must do more to get these dangerous illegal immigrant criminals off of our streets, and guarantee this never happens again by building a wall, ending sanctuary cities, and stopping illegal immigration once and for all,” he said.
Jackson's roommate Chad Bouchez told CBS News that his close friend would not have wanted his death to be politicized.
"Absolutely not. He would not want that," Bouchez said. "I don't think Edwin would have judged anyone on where they were from or anything else."