The Neglected Victims of the Border Crisis


April 21, 2022

By Brian Lonergan

Given the destruction that illegal immigration has been causing our country over several decades, it is fair to ask how we got here. How have a significant portion of citizens come to embrace policies that result in lawlessness, violence and financial distress throughout the nation?

The answer is that those pushing for ever-higher numbers of new arrivals—media, politicians, activist groups and others—have exploited the otherwise noble instinct of most Americans to be Good Samaritans. They have framed the issue as one populated by victims who hail from everywhere but the United States. They include young children and parents separated from their children through the detention process. To question the logic of unchecked illegal immigration into the country is to expose oneself to accusations of being cold-hearted, xenophobic and denying help to the less fortunate. Who among us would embrace those epithets?

Support for victims, as it turns out, is denied by these activists to one particular group: those who have lost their lives as a result of illegal alien crime, and the families who must live with the loss. In a culture that elevates and too often embellishes victimhood, these “Angel families” are victims in the purest sense, yet have been marginalized because the circumstances of their losses are at odds with the anti-borders narrative.

Membership in the Angel family community is growing, yet it is a group into which one would never wish to be inducted. They have formed numerous organizations for support and a voice, among them Advocates for Victims of Illegal Alien Crime (AVIAC). Its president, Don Rosenberg, was an entertainment industry executive in Southern California and a self-described liberal at the time until his son Drew was killed in 2010 in San Francisco by an illegal alien. Since then, Rosenberg and AVIAC have worked to keep attention on illegal alien crime while detailing the stories of lost lives that the corporate media largely ignores.   

Angel families had access to the highest levels of government under Donald Trump, who championed their cause at his rallies. During one of his State of the Union speeches, Trump invited and recognized Debra Bissell, whose parents were burglarized and killed by an illegal alien in Reno, Nevada. 

“Angel families” are victims in the purest sense, yet have been marginalized because the circumstances of their losses are at odds with the anti-borders narrative.

The activist corporate media that claims to give voice to the voiceless would have none of this. The Los Angeles Times was appalled, calling Trump’s spotlight on Angel families “tackiness and rank opportunism.” The Wall Street Journal cited reports from left-wing nonprofits that illegal aliens commit less crime than the native population. The impact of such data is dead on arrival, however, as the amount of illegal alien crime would and should be near zero if our political leaders simply enforced the current immigration laws.

In stark contrast to their treatment under the previous administration, Angel families have had no invitations to the Biden White House or to share their stories on the consequences of runaway illegal immigration. To grant such access would be to give voice to the truth that this administration is causing unimaginable suffering through its reckless policies.

Despite the efforts of government and the media to silence them, Angel families are finally getting a platform to be heard. Attorneys United for a Secure America, a project of the Immigration Reform Law Institute, recently submitted an amicus brief on behalf of AVIAC to the Supreme Court in a case seeking to uphold a district court order that restored the Trump Administration’s highly-effective “Remain in Mexico” policy. The justices of the Court will now be able to hear the unfiltered voices of Angel families on the desperate need to regain control of our border.

There are clearly victims south of our border caught up in the racket that is illegal immigration. No children should be forced to serve as golden tickets to get human trafficking cartel clients into the United States. Adults who make it here should not have to be indentured servants to the same cartels to pay off their transport charges. These stories make the case for more immigration enforcement, not less. Those who flippantly say that illegal immigration is a victimless crime should look not only at those under the boot of the cartels, but also the innocent Americans who have lost their lives and the families who live with the pain of crimes that should never have occurred.

Brian Lonergan is director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.

Also published at: Brian Lonergan, The Neglected Victims of the Border CrisisAmerican Greatness, April 21, 2022. Also The Ohio Star, April 22, 2022.

Get Connected

Sign up for our email newsletter to stay up to date with immigration reform in the United States.

Attorneys United for a Secure America (AUSA) is a non-partisan affiliation of talented attorneys dedicated to pursuing cases that serve the national interest when it comes to immigration law.

If you are interested in joining the network, visit the AUSA website.