Madison Armstrong is a guest of President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump at Tuesday’s State of the Union address. Armstrong is the great-granddaughter of Gerald and Sharon David, an elderly couple that police say was killed by an undocumented immigrant.
Madison Armstrong will be joined by her mom, Heather Armstrong, and grandmother, Debra Bissell, the White House said, to represent three generations of the David family.
Sharon and Gerald David were found dead from gunshot wounds in their Reno, Nevada home last month.
Police say the Davids were killed by 19-year-old Wilber Martinez-Guzman, who shot them with a gun he stole from their home. Police say Martinez-Guzman also killed two other women during a weeklong string of deadly robberies.
According to ICE, Martinez-Guzman entered the country illegally.
President Trump is expected to highlight illegal immigration in his push to get funding for his proposed border wall during his speech Tuesday.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Madison Armstrong Will Attend Trump State of the Union With Mom & Grandma
The White House announced Monday that Madison Armstrong will be among President Trump’s and first lady Melania Trump’s guests at the State of the Union.
Armstrong will be joined by her mom Heather Armstrong, a California photographer, and her grandmother, Debra Missell.
“Gerald and Sharon David of Reno, Nevada, were tragically murdered in their home in Nevada by an illegal immigrant in January 2019,” The White House said in a news release. “The terrible loss has devastated both their community and three generations of their family who will be represented at the State of the Union: the Davids’ daughter Debra, granddaughter Heather, and great-granddaughter Madison.”
2. Madison Armstrong’s Great-Grandparents Were Killed by an Undocumented Immigrant, Police Say
Gerald David, 81, and Sharon David, 80, were found dead in their Southern Reno home in January.
Police also discovered that some of their possessions, including firearms, were missing from the home, CNN reported.
Police identified the suspect as 19-year-old Wilber Martinez-Guman. Police arrested him on January 19 after learning he was in the country illegally. According to ICE, he entered the United States from El Salvador illegally over a year ago.
3. Wilber Martinez-Guzman Charged With 4 Murders in One Week
Martinez-Guzman was formally charged with murdering the Davids on January 29.
Police say Martinez-Guzman admitted to killing the couple with a gun he stole from their home.
Martinez-Guzman is also charged with the murder of 56-year-old Connie Koontz, who was found dead in her home on January 10, and 74-year-old Sophia Renken, who was also found shot dead in her home on January 13.
He is also charged with dozens of burglary and possession of stolen property counts.
4. President Trump Tweeted About Martinez-Guzman During Border Wall Push
President Trump wrote about the murders on Twitter two days after Martinez-Guzman’s arrest in an effort to gin up support for his proposed border wall.
“Four people in Nevada viciously robbed and killed by an illegal immigrant who should not have been in our Country,” Trump tweeted. “26 people killed on the Border in a drug and gang related fight. Two large Caravans from Honduras broke into Mexico and are headed our way. We need a powerful Wall!”
Trump, who began his presidential campaign by claiming that immigrants bring “crime and drugs,” has repeatedly claimed that undocumented immigrants are likely to be violent offenders. Numerous studies have disproven that.
The Washington Post cited multiple studies to show that undocumented immigrants commit homicides, larceny, and all other crimes at a far lower rate than native-born American citizens while legal immigrants commit all crimes at a tiny fraction of the rate that native-born citizens do.
5. Trump is Expected to Focus on Border Security and Illegal Immigration in SOTU Speech
The New York Times reported that Trump will focus on making the case for his proposed border wall during his State of the Union speech, though Bloomberg reported that he will stop short of declaring a state of emergency to divert funding from military and infrastructure projects to fund the wall.
According to The Times, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has urged Trump not to declare a state of emergency, warning that as many as 10 Republican Senators could defect and join with Democrats to block such a move. At the same time, negotiations between lawmakers on the wall have stalled and the president has called them a “waste of time.”
Among the reasons that Trump has failed to get a single dollar for the wall in more than two years in office is that a wall would do little to stop the illegal immigration and the flow of illegal drugs. Roughly half of all undocumented immigrants entered the United States via a plane on a visa that has since expired, not at the Southern border. Meanwhile, apprehensions at the border have plummeted from 1.67 million in 2000 to less than 311,000 in 2017. Despite Trump’s criticisms of the migrant caravans marching to the Southern border, the majority of those people are legally seeking asylum at legal points of entry, not illegally crossing the border. According to the Trump administration, nearly all of the illegal drugs smuggled into the country are brought through legal ports of entry.