Contradicting Trump, Ruby Garcia’s Sister Says He Never Contacted Family

The sister of the young Michigan woman whose killing has become the latest flashpoint for Republicans on illegal immigration is pushing back on former President Donald J. Trump, criticizing him for using her sister’s death to score political points and contradicting his claims that he contacted the family.

At an event in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Tuesday, Mr. Trump described Ruby Garcia, 25, and her killing at length. The man charged with her death was in the United States unlawfully, according to immigration officials, something that Mr. Trump seized on in his remarks to describe Ms. Garcia as a “beautiful young woman who was savagely murdered by an illegal alien criminal.” He also told the crowd that he had spoken to her family.

But that wasn’t true, the sister, Mavi Garcia, said, adding that the family was upset by what they heard while watching the remarks in real time.

“He did not speak with any of us, so it was kind of shocking seeing that he had said that he had spoke with us, and misinforming people on live TV,” Mavi Garcia, who has acted as a spokeswoman for her family, said in an interview with WOOD-TV8, the NBC affiliate for West Michigan.

She faulted Mr. Trump for framing her sister’s death as a border issue.

“It’s always been about illegal immigrants,” she told the news station. “Nobody really speaks about when Americans do heinous crimes, and it’s kind of shocking why he would just bring up illegals. What about Americans who do heinous crimes like this?”

Mr. Trump, at the rally in Grand Rapids, brought up Ruby Garcia and other victims of violent crimes as he railed against what he called a “border blood bath.” He has focused heavily on immigration and the border to try to win over voters by claiming that the influx of migrants at the southern border is contributing to an increase in crime in the United States, a connection that available data does not support.

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