RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. — According to police, Ramiro Ajualip, a 27-year-old illegal Mexican immigrant living in Alabama, confessed to raping a ten-year-old Alabama girl in March of 2015. But while the story received some local coverage at the time, the national media is now bringing renewed attention to the attack as a result of controversial comments made by Republican presidential contender Donald Trump.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best; they’re not sending you,” Trump said during his presidential announcement speech. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Trump has repeatedly defended his comments, citing a study claiming that 80 percent of female Central America migrants are sexually assaulted during their trek to the United States.
“All I’m doing is telling the truth,” said Trump.
Trump’s comments have compelled news outlets to dig deeper into the recent history of criminal offenses by immigrants living in the United States illegally.
Of the numerous reports, none were more gut-wrenching than the account of Ajualip’s crime in Alabama.
According to police, Ajualip raped and sodomized the young girl, then threatened her life in an attempt to keep her quiet. She later broke down and revealed the vicious attack to her parents.
“You know, (it was) a 10-year-old child that probably has no idea what`s really going on,” said Russellville Police Chief Chris Hargett. “It`s sad because now that child is going to be scarred for the rest of her life.”
But while numerous attacks have occurred at the hands of illegal immigrants, Trump’s presidential rivals criticized him for painting all Latin American immigrants with a broad brush.
“Trump’s comments are not just offensive and inaccurate, but also divisive,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican. “Our next president needs to be someone who brings Americans together – not someone who continues to divide. Our broken immigration system is something that needs to be solved, and comments like this move us further from – not closer to – a solution. We need leaders who offer serious solutions to secure our border and fix our broken immigration system.”
“This is a guy who was a Democrat for most of the last decade,” said Jeb Bush. “I don’t think he represents the Republican Party, and his views are way out of the mainstream of what most Republicans think.”
“I was offended by his remarks,” added former Texas Gov. Rick Perry on ABC’s “This Week.” “[T]o paint with that broad a brush that Donald Trump did is — I mean he’s going to have to defend those remarks. I never will. And I will stand up and say that those are offensive, which they were.”
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said he would “never besmirch all the people who come here.”
Even former presidential contender Mitt Romney weighed in.
“I think he made a severe error in saying what he did about Mexican-Americans,” he said. “And it’s unfortunate.”
But Trump has remained undeterred.
“I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me —and I’ll build them very inexpensively,” he said defiantly during his campaign announcement. “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
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— Cliff Sims (@Cliff_Sims) June 9, 2015