Mother of woman killed by El Salvadoran gang member gives graphic account before Congress
Tue, May 23, 2023 3:18 PM
By Casey Harper, The Center Square
The mother of a woman killed by a gang-affiliated illegal immigrant shared her story through tears Tuesday during testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement.
Tammy Nobles is the mother of Kayla Marie, a 20-year-old autistic woman who was raped and killed last summer.
In March of last year, officials apprehended Marie's alleged killer crossing illegally into the U.S. at Rio Grande City, Texas, just a few months before Marie's death. The unaccompanied teenager from El Salvador is allegedly affiliated with MS-13, which is largely based in El Salvador and Honduras.
MS-13 is a violent gang that has extended its reach northward into the U.S. in recent years. Its motto is “kill, rape and control.”
Nobles pointed to a broken immigration system during her testimony, saying that because the suspect was a teen and not an adult when he illegally entered the U.S., he was allowed to go live with his aunt in Maryland. He rented a room in the same trailer as Marie, the same trailer where she soon was found dead.
“Kayla's murderer was living there less than 5 days before he viciously murdered my daughter,” Nobles testified. “Kayla had two jobs. She was working at a cleaning company and at Weis grocery store. Kayla had autism but she was determined to live independently and make her way in this world. And my baby paid the ultimate price.”
The suspect was arrested in January of this year and was charged with first degree murder using DNA evidence.
Nobles went into graphic detail before Congress about how her daughter died.
“The murderer went into Kayla’s room startling her, grabbed her IPod charger and wrapped it around her throat and face while strangling her to death,” Nobles said. “Kayla grabbed her phone and called her boyfriend but it went to voicemail. The voicemail of the murderer strangling Kayla was 2 minutes and 30 seconds long. The murderer then violently sexually assaulted Kayla. Kayla’s boyfriend came home from work and found her dead on the floor. The charger cord was so tight around her neck and face that her boyfriend had to use his teeth to get it off.”
Nobles told lawmakers that for her, this issue is not about politics, but about safety.
“This could have been anyone’s daughter," she said. "Kayla wasn’t doing anything wrong and she didn’t deserve to be murdered. I don’t want any other parent to live the nightmare that I am living. I am her voice now and I am going to fight with everything I have to get her story told and bring awareness of the issue at the border. I will make sure her memory lives on.”
Nobles blasted government officials, saying they could have done more to keep this from happening.
“The Government could have placed a phone call to authorities in El Salvador and found out that he was a gang member," she said. "But they didn’t. If we had stricter border policies, my daughter would still be alive today. Nothing will bring my daughter back nor fix the pain of not having her here, but I want to prevent this from happening to someone else’s child. This isn’t about immigration. This is about protecting everyone in the United States.”
The testimony comes as illegal immigration into the U.S. has soared under the Biden administration. As The Center Square previously reported, federal immigration data shows that the number of people illegally entering the U.S. through the southern border through April of this year is larger than the population of six U.S. states.
During the hearing Tuesday, Rodney Scott, a former border patrol officer who now works for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, testified about the explosion of illegal immigration and how it has “effectively transferred control of our southwest border into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels.”
“As political leadership consistently ignored the guidance of career professionals and increasingly made policy decisions that resulted in aliens being released into the U.S., the volume of illegal immigration predictably increased dramatically,” Scott testified. “I observed and experienced the rapid degradation of our border security from order back to total chaos firsthand. I watched the border security gains that were made over three decades dismantled and the economies and safety of border communities in the U.S. and Mexico spiral backwards.”