Donald Trump, whose blunt remarks on immigration
have triggered both condemnation and praise, is meeting privately in Los Angeles with five families whose relatives have been killed by illegal immigrants, reports say.
An advisory from the Trump campaign announces the GOP presidential candidate's sit-down will include the heartbroken family of Jamiel Shaw, Jr.,
a Los Angeles teen slain in 2008 by a illegal immigrant gangbanger under circumstances frighteningly similar to the slaying of Kathryn Steinle on July 1 in San Francisco.
Trump was expected to hold a news conference after the closed-door meeting with the Shaw relatives and other families whose loved ones have been killed by illegal immigrants.
Trump's outspoken views on illegal immigrants from Mexico – and his vow that as president he'd build a wall along the U.S. southern border and make Mexico "pay for it"
– have triggered a firestorm of controversy.
But Shaw's mother has praised Trump's stance.
"It's amazing to me that the same incident is still going on today," Iraq war veteran Army Sgt. Anita Shaw said of the Steinle slaying, adding: "It's like, when will the public wake up and do something. And this guy who is running for president, Donald Trump, he's trying to do something and they're trying to shut him down."
The teen's father told Fox News that Trump’s comments on illegal immigration made him "happy for the first time."
"When that happened, I felt good. I felt hope," Jamiel Shaw Sr. said.
A new poll also finds Trump's remarks on crime and illegal immigrants are resonating with a majority of Americans.
According to a Rasmussen Reports survey
, 53 percent of likely U.S. voters think illegal immigration raises the level of serious crime in the country, with just 5 percent saying it decreases the level.
Jan Brewer, the former Republican governor of Arizona – the heart of the illegal immigration debate with its 400 miles of land bordering Mexico – said her experience as the state's executive confirms Trump's assertions on crime and illegal immigration.
"I believe that Mr. Trump is kind of telling it like it really, truly is
," Brewer says.
"I think that the people of Arizona realize that we picked up the tab for the majority of the violence that comes across our border in regards to the drug cartels, the smugglers, the drop houses. It has been horrendous."
The candidate's planned rally in Arizona Saturday is already drawing huge interest – so intense, in fact, that the venue for the event is being moved
to the Phoenix Convention Center to accommodate an estimated 3,500 confirmed attendees.
The real estate billionaire's Friday visit to Los Angeles
also includes a private meeting in Brentwood with Friends Of Abe, a group of conservative members of the Hollywood film and television industry – an event expected to draw protest from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, CW affiliate KTLA reports
© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.