Families, activists hold rally at San Ysidro Port of Entry

SAN DIEGO — A group of conservative activists and parents whose loved ones were killed by undocumented immigrants held a rally in San Ysidro Friday in support of increased security at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Angel Families and conservative internet blogger Ben Bergquam held a news conference at the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry decrying immigrants living in the country illegally, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Chuck Schumer, the media and Democrats at large.

The group also voiced their support for President Donald Trump and his proposed border wall.

“Build the wall or shut it down,” Bergquam said, seeming to reference Trump’s threat to shut down the federal government over funding for the wall. “It’s time that we protect American citizens. It’s time that we protect American families.”

Bergquam also claimed that asylum-seeking migrants and caravan members in Tijuana are funded by liberal organizations funded by such activists as Hungarian-American investor and philanthropist George Soros.

“We are fighting so that no other American family has to feel the pain and the grief that we do,” said Mary Anne Mendoza, a representative of the national Angel Families organization. Her son, Sgt. Brandon Mendoza of the Mesa, Arizona Police Department was killed by a person living in the country illegally in 2014.

“We stand firm with President Trump,” Mendoza said. “Angel Families supports him. Shut down the government. We need a stand alone border security act.”

A March 2018 report published in the journal Criminology found that from 1990 to 2014, states with more immigrants living there tend to average less violent crime percentage wise than states with fewer immigrants here illegally.

The group of angel families and activists plan to hold a second rally Saturday at 11 a.m. on the San Ysidro Port of Entry bridge.

Representatives from Protect America First, former Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio’s political action committee, will attend the rally, Bergquam said.