(NewsNation) — As the national debate over immigration policy continues, Republicans and Democrats sparred in a hearing regarding current border policies.
Tammy Nobles, whose daughter Kayla Hamilton was allegedly murdered by an undocumented MS-13 gang member who entered the country as an unaccompanied minor, testified at one such debate.
Nobles’ emotional testimony kicked off a hearing where politicians on both sides of the aisle argued heatedly over immigration policy in the U.S.
Democrats stressed the need for increased legal pathways to remove cartel control over the border and reduce human smuggling, while Republicans placed blame for the border crisis at President Joe Biden’s feet.
Few lawmakers spoke to Noble over the course of the hearing, although she was questioned on whether or not she knew any other families with stories similar to her own. She did not and said that was why she was speaking up; to prevent another tragedy from happening to another family.
It’s difficult to track how many homicides are committed by undocumented immigrants, although such crimes are frequently brought up in the political debate over immigration policy. ICE data from 2020 showed 1,837 individuals arrested for violations of immigration policy had a homicide charge or conviction on their record.
FBI data from the same year showed 21,570 homicides committed in the U.S., meaning only 8.5% of homicides involved or were suspected to involve someone who crossed into the country illegally.
For families like Nobles, that can put them in the crosshairs of an ongoing political debate over immigration policy. During this latest hearing, Republicans and Democrats largely questioned their own witnesses, painting vastly different pictures of the U.S. immigration system.
While both sides of the aisle have blamed current and former presidents for the current state of the immigration system, Congress has failed to pass meaningful immigration reform since the 1990s.