Trump blasts undocumented immigrant who allegedly killed Colts player in drunken crash
Suspect Manuel Orrego-Savala has been deported twice, state police said.
— -- In President Donald Trump's push for immigration reform, he is blasting an undocumented immigrant who allegedly killed two men, including an NFL player, in a car crash on Sunday.
Trump wrote on Twitter this morning that it's "so disgraceful that a person illegally in our country killed [Indianapolis] Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson. 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!"
The suspect, Manuel Orrego-Savala, of Guatemala, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana with illegal re-entry of a previously deported alien on Tuesday. He was previously deported in 2007 and 2009, according to Indiana State Police.
This isn't the first time Trump has invoked the deaths of Americans to argue against illegal immigration. He has often referenced the San Francisco pier case, in which an undocumented immigrant who had been deported multiple times was accused of fatally shooting a 32-year-old Kate Steinle on a pier. In that case, a jury found Jose Ines Garcia Zarate not guilty of Steinle's July 2015 death.
Indiana State Police said the Sunday crash took place when Jackson, 26, who was a passenger in a car, became ill, and the driver Jeffrey Monroe, 54, pulled over. Both men were standing outside the car, which was on the side of the interstate, when a truck drove onto the emergency shoulder and hit both men, police said.
Orrego-Savala, 37, fled on foot and was later apprehended.
Orrego-Savala illegally entered the U.S. in 2004 and was convicted of driving under the influence in California in 2005, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson Nicole Alberico said.
In 2006 he was ordered removed by an Arizona immigration judge and was deported to Guatemala in 2007, Alberico said. He illegally reentered the U.S. again and was removed in 2009, she added.
Besides the two deportations and DUI conviction, Orrego-Savala has many other misdemeanor arrests and convictions in California and Indiana, Alberico said.
Indiana’s Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly said in a statement, “This man should not have been allowed back into this country after he was deported in 2007. We need to fix our broken immigration system to help prevent this from happening again. That’s why I have voted for and helped the Senate pass bipartisan legislation to increase border security and reform the immigration system."
Republican Congressman and Indiana Senate hopeful Todd Rokita also linked the crash to immigration, saying in a statement, "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."
Rokita's House colleague and Republican primary opponent, Rep. Luke Messer, said in a statement today, “I echo the President’s concern that it’s long past time to deal with illegal immigration in this country. Clearly, the suspect in this case should not have been in the country, and this tragedy is yet another result of our broken immigration system. I have consistently advocated for stronger border security and am committed to working with President Trump to solve this issue."
The ACLU of Indiana declined to comment on the case.
Later today, at a White House roundtable about the violent MS-13 gang, Trump said he'd "love to see" a government shutdown if Congress doesn’t work with the administration to get rid of loopholes in the immigration system. "If we don’t change this legislation, if we don’t get rid of these loopholes ... if we don’t change it, let’s have a shutdown," Trump said. "I’d love to see a shutdown if we don’t get this stuff taken care of." "The way the world is laughing at us because they don’t have these policies…if we have to shut it down because the Democrats don’t want safety, and unrelated, but still related they don’t want to take care of our military, shut it down,” the president continued.
Police said that Orrego-Savala, who was using the alias Alex Cabrera Gonsales, was believed to be intoxicated and driving without a license at the time of the collision. A breath test administered at the scene found Orrego-Savala’s blood alcohol content to be 0.239 percent, ABC affiliate WRTV in Indianapolis reported.
The crash threw one of the victims into the center lane of the interstate, where that victim was also hit by a responding state police trooper, police said. Both Jackson and Monroe died at the scene, police said.
Orrego-Savala was arrested and is being held in the Marion County Jail, police said. ICE officers have placed an immigration detainer on him, according to Alberico.
In court this morning, Orrega-Savala said through a court interpreter that he wasn't driving the car, WRTV reported.
Charges are pending. Orrega-Savala's initial hearing is set for Wednesday, according to WRTV.
Meanwhile, the Colts said in a statement that the team was "heartbroken."
"Edwin was loved by all in the Colts organization," the Colts said. "We admired his outgoing personality, competitive spirit and hard-working mentality. He was well-respected among all with whom he crossed paths, and he will be greatly missed in our locker room and throughout our entire organization."
"We also understand that another person lost his life in the accident, only adding to our sorrow on this day," the statement continued. "We are shocked and saddened by this tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of both men during this difficult time."
ABC News' Alisa Wiersema contributed to this report.
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