- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The guest list of President Trump and first lady Melania Trump for the State of the Union address on Tuesday night will highlight the dangers of sanctuary cities by showcasing a California man whose brother was shot and killed by an illegal immigrant who had been deported twice.

Jody Jones from Farmersville, lost his brother Rocky on Dec. 17, 2018, in a shooting at a gas station in Tulare County, California. He’ll be seated in the House gallery with other honored White House guests.

Mr. Jones’ brother was killed by Gustavo Garcia — the White House announcement didn’t mention Garcia’s name, but called him a “criminal alien.”

“The criminal alien who committed this brutal murder had previously been arrested for violent crimes and had been deported twice,” the White House said.

“The criminal alien was arrested in December 2018 for the sixth time, but because of California’s sanctuary state policy, he was released from jail. A few days later, the criminal alien went on a 24-hour ‘reign of terror,’ injuring several people, robbing a gas station, leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase, and killing 51-year old Rocky, who was known as a kind and gentle soul. Rocky leaves behind a precious daughter and 4 brothers who are still grieving the loss of their loved one.”

The other guests of the president and first lady are:

— Army veteran Tony Rankins of Cincinnati, who has benefited from a low-tax “opportunity zone” backed by the administration. After serving in Afghanistan, he suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, became addicted to drugs, lost his job and his family, served several prison sentences, and ended up living out of his car. A company called “R Investments” helped train him in construction trades, and his new job has helped him overcome drug addiction and reunite with his family.

— Border Patrol Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz of Del Rio, Texas. In 2019, he became chief patrol agent of the Del Rio Sector, which made him responsible for all Border Patrol operations in 41 Texas counties — including 210 miles of border between the United States and Mexico. Recently, Mr. Ortiz was promoted to second in command for more than 20,000 agents and professional staff. His awards include the Superior Civilian Service Medal, among the Department of Defense’s highest civilian honors.

— Ellie and Robin Schneider of Kansas City, Missouri, highlighting the president’s pro-life policies. Born at just 21 weeks and six days, Ellie is one of the youngest babies to survive in the U.S. She is now “a happy, healthy 2-year-old girl who brings endless joy to her mother, Robin, and her entire family,” the White House said.

— Janiyah and Stephanie Davis of Philadelphia, representing the issue of school choice. Janiyah is a fourth-grade student who loves art and math, “but for too long she has been assigned to low-performing schools,” the White House said. Her mother Stephanie is “a hard-working single mother who is hoping for the expansion of school choice to be able to send Janiyah to a school that best serves her needs.”

— Kelli and Gage Hake of Stillwater, Oklahoma, illustrating the sacrifices of military families and the harm that was caused by Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Mrs. Hake was at home with her one-year-old son, Gage, when she received the news that her husband, Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Hake, had been killed serving on his second tour of duty in Iraq. While on patrol, Sgt. Hake’s Bradley fighting vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb supplied by terrorist leader Soleimani. “Kelli and Gage directly suffered from Soleimani’s campaign to kill and maim U.S. service members,” the White House said. Last month, Mr. Trump ordered the killing of Soleimani as he was plotting more attacks on American service members, the statement said.

— Army veteran Paul Morrow of Montgomery, Alabama. He started a successful contracting business and is building a new concrete plant in an Opportunity Zone in Montgomery.

— Ivan Simonovis from Caracas, Venezuela. The former police chief of Venezuela’s capital city was imprisoned in 2004 for protecting protesters and was held in captivity for nearly 15 years by the Chavez and Maduro regimes. “He escaped from Venezuela in 2019 and was brought to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where immigration agents welcomed him to the United States,” the White House said.

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