Mom of Pearland murder victim goes before Congress to champion tougher immigration laws

PEARLAND, TX (KTRK) -- A Pearland mother is fighting for change as Congress debates immigration and sanctuary city policies.

Laura Wilkerson's son Joshua was beaten, tortured and murdered November 16, 2010. His body was thrown in West Pearland field and set on fire.

Hermilo Moralez was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Wilkerson's mother testified Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary committee that Moralez was brought into the U.S. illegally by his parents when he was just 10 years old and that he was allowed to stay in the country only because he came as a minor and was granted amnesty under the current administration's policies.

"You're officially notified today there is a problem when this happens," Wilkerson testified. "Instead of getting Joshua home from school that day, we got an autopsy report."

Wilkerson insists sanctuary cities, whether labeled officially or only functioning as such through inaction, should not be tolerated.

"Your silence speaks volumes. You're either for Americans or you're not!" she told committee members,

Donald Trump's comments on immigration and crime, Wilkerson added, echo what she's been trying to voice for years: a point illustrated no more clearly than through the death of that woman in San Francisco - murdered, allegedly, by a man five times removed from this country.

Baldomero Garza, the past national vice president of the southwest division for the League of United Latin American Citizens, says talk of getting tough on undocumented criminals is often just that - talk.

"The thing is that's not going to solve the problem. I mean it looks good and sounds tough and everything else," he said.

Garza says if we want change, we need to elect people who will effect that change. Wilkerson says those in this country illegally should face the same laws and consequences as every single American citizen.
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.