Do what you need to do for border security so others are spared our tragedy, brother of slain US officer tells Donald Trump

Washington: Reggie Singh, the brother of Indian-origin police officer Ronil “Ron” Singh killed in California and described a “national hero” by Donald Trump, has said his family fully supported the President’s efforts to bolster border security so that others do not experience what they have been going through since the tragedy.

Corporal Ronil Singh, 33, of the Newman Police Department was shot and killed, allegedly by an illegal immigrant, during a traffic stop on 26 December.

During a high-profile visit to the southern border state of Texas on Thursday to push for his controversial US-Mexico border wall plan, Trump attended a border patrol roundtable at McAllen, where Reggie Singh was seated next to the president.

US president Donald Trump with Ronil Singh's brother during a roundtable discussion at the US Border Patrol Station in McAllen in Texas. Reuters

US president Donald Trump with Ronil Singh’s brother Reggie during a roundtable discussion at the US Border Patrol Station in McAllen in Texas. Reuters

“I watched a family right around Christmas time… suffer and I’d like to ask Reggie, maybe you could say a few words about your incredible brother, the job he was doing. He was so beloved by the people of the department and beyond the department,” the US president said.

To this, Reggie Singh told Trump, “The way he (Ronil Singh) was killed, what my family is going through right now, I do not want any other family, law enforcement person to go through that.”

“Whatever it takes to minimise… put a stop to it, my family fully supports it,” Reggie Singh said.

In the last few days, Trump has made it a point to mention the killing of Singh by an illegal immigrant to build a strong case in favouur of a stronger border security to prevent entry of illegal immigrants.

“We are deeply moved to have with us Reggie Singh, whose brother, Ronil Singh, incredible guy. I mean, I watched, and I’ve rarely felt worse and watching news of our nation than watching your family and the love that you have for your brother,” Trump said.

During the roundtable meeting, Reggie Singh said he and his brother are originally from Fiji. “He (Ronil) always wanted to be in law enforcement. So legally we migrated to America to fulfill his dream of joining the law enforcement,” he said.

“English is our second language. He worked on that, got his education, applied for law enforcement agency and he was asked to get his citizenship. He worked towards that and he became a cop, K-9, Corporal K-9,” Reggie Singh said.

“At 33, Ronil Singh was cremated and I had to pick up his remains. It breaks my heart and no one should ever go through that. Seeing a five-month-old baby looking for his dad, no one should ever go through that on Christmas Day,” he told Trump.

The president replied, “We are with you. You know that, right.”

“That was a tough one, too. That was a tough one for a lot of people, not only the family, for a lot of people in this country. That was a tough thing to watch,” Trump said.

“I can see that, the way it came through. It came through loud and clear. And there are so many other people who have the same, nobody covers them, nobody talks about how unfair it is to the victims of these brutal killings,” he said.

On Tuesday, Trump said America’s heart broke the day the young officer was “savagely murdered” in cold blood by an “illegal alien”.

“America’s heart broke the day after Christmas when a young police officer in California was savagely murdered in cold blood by an illegal alien (who) just came across the border. The life of an American hero was stolen by someone who had no right to be in our country,” Trump said.

The Californian police have arrested 33-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico identified as Gustavo Perez Arriaga on charges of killing Singh. Trump has demanded $ 5.7 billion from Congress to construct a wall along the US-Mexico border, which he said is crucial to stop the flow of illegal immigrants and smuggling of drugs into the country.

The Democrats argue that constructing a wall is not the best use of taxpayers’ money.

The sharp differences between the Trump administration and the opposition Democrats over border security has resulted in a partial government shutdown, which entered its 20th day on Thursday, making it the second-longest in history after the 21-day shutdown in 1995-96.

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