Family of Ruby Garcia Says Trump Lied About Speaking to Them

Donald Trump Holds Presidential Campaign Rally In Green Bay, Wisconsin

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At a border-focused campaign event in Michigan on Tuesday, Donald Trump continued to spout incendiary rhetoric, once again referring to immigrants as “animals” and accusing his likely opponent President Joe Biden of bringing “carnage and chaos” to the country through his border policies. The former president also invoked Ruby Garcia, who was killed by an undocumented immigrant and found in March along the side of a Grand Rapids highway.

“Ruby’s loved ones and community are left grieving for this incredible young woman. Remembering what they called her. They said she had the most contagious laughter and, when she walked into a room, she lit up that room,” Trump said, flanked by law-enforcement officers at the DeVos Place Convention Center. “And I’ve heard that from so many people. I spoke to some of her family.”

But relatives of Garcia say they never heard from Trump.

“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, Ruby’s sister, told Target 8, a local NBC affiliate.

Mavi Garcia, who has acted as the family’s spokesperson, told the outlet that she is angry that her sister’s death has become politicized. “It’s always been about illegal immigrants,” she said. “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 that?”

In late March, police discovered 25-year-old Ruby Garcia’s body with gunshot wounds alongside U.S. 131 in Grand Rapids. Authorities later charged Brandon Ortiz-Vite, a Mexican national, with her murder. The two were apparently dating, and Ortiz-Vite confessed to police that he had shot Garcia following an argument in her car, per MLive. The Detroit News reports that Ortiz-Vite entered the country illegally as a child but was deported back to Mexico in 2020.

Throughout his presidential campaign. Trump has repeatedly weaved the murder of another young woman, Georgia nursing student Laken Riley, into his stump speeches. Jose Antonio Ibarra, an undocumented man from Venezuela, has been charged in the death of the 22-year-old avid runner, who was reportedly unknown to him.

Michigan Democrats have accused Trump of politicizing Garcia’s death for his own gain. During a virtual press conference prior to his Grand Rapids events, Senator Debbie Stabenow called out the former president. “Ruby Garcia’s death was a horrible tragedy,” she said. “But, unfortunately, Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans are hell-bent on exploiting Ruby’s death for their own politics. Frankly, I think it’s shameful.”

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