Lula Page, who sat up reading Tuesday night and didn’t watch the address, told the AJC she was surprised to hear the president had brought up her husband’s case. She struggled for the words to express what it meant to her.
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Her husband’s death changed the way she feels about immigration, making her think there should be better ways to protect U.S. citizens against immigrants who may be dangerous. But Page said she doesn’t know what can be done to stop the actions of one person.
“Everybody on the earth is not bad and everybody on the earth is not good, no matter what your culture,” Page said.
According to information released by the White House, U.S. Border Patrol encountered Ponce-Martinez in 2015 and ordered him to return to Mexico. He was being held without bond late Tuesday in the Clayton jail, records showed.
The speech was Trump's first prime-time national televised address and was intended to make the case for funding his long-promised wall on the U.S.'s southern border. It came 18 days into a partial federal government shutdown, resulting from disagreement between lawmakers in Congress over whether or not to include funding for the wall in a bill to reopen the government.
- Staff writer Tamar Hallerman contributed to this report.
Using surveillance video, police were able to arrest Christian Ponce-Martinez, 25, after he was seen on Page's property.