Two ‘Angel Mothers’ whose children were murdered by illegal immigrants are pleading for an end to illegal immigration and sanctuary cities and counties, and for state and federal leaders to support a tougher U.S. border policy. On Tuesday night, the mothers – Agnes Gibboney and Laura Wilkerson – were invited to speak to a small gathering of the Liberty County Chapter of the Texas Federal of Republican Women held at the Stancil Exposition Center’s log cabin in Cleveland.
Laura Wilkerson’s 18-year-old son, Joshua, was brutally murdered in November 2010 near their home in Pearland, Texas. Agnes Gibboney’s son, Ronald Da Silva, was shot and killed in El Monte, Calif., in April 2002. Both men were murdered by illegal immigrants who were not supposed to have been in the United States at the time.
“I don’t know if Josh would take on this fight, but I am taking it on myself. If it can happen to me, it can happen to someone else,” said Wilkerson. “The wall should have been funded the very first time. Anyone who is in Congress who didn’t vote for the wall needs to go. It should be done and over with. It’s common sense to keep our families safe.”
Hermilo Moralez, the convicted murderer who killed Wilkerson’s son, was an immigrant from Belize. Moralez entered the U.S. on a six-month visa and then overstayed after his visa ran out. Josh and Moralez were both students at the same at-risk alternative high school in Pearland. The only motive for the killing appears to be Josh’s used pickup truck, which the killer took and hid behind a strip center after the murder.
“He got on the witness stand and the DA asked him what he had done to Joshua that day. With no remorse, he said his killing skills took over. He claimed that Joshua kicked his dog. I don’t think that is true,” Wilkerson said. “He punched Josh so hard in the face that he couldn’t fight back or see. It crushed his nasal cavity and all his facial bones. The second thing he did was kneed Joshua in the stomach so hard that it sliced his spleen in two. He went to the ground and was writhing in pain. The killer was so aggravated that Josh kept trying to get up. He then took a closet rod and beat Joshua over the head so many times that it broke into four pieces.”
Moralez then strangled Josh until he was dead. After the murder, Moralez loaded Josh’s body into the backseat of the truck, drove to a gas station and filled up a Hawaiian Punch bottle with gasoline, which was then used to set Josh’s body on fire in a nearby field.
“As a parent, you never realize how close you are to evil. This guy never had an ounce of remorse. I think their parents (of young immigrants) set them up to fail when they bring them here and don’t give them the tools they need,” she said. “He was kicked out of his house and was living at the expense of another mother.”
She found out later that Moralez wanted Josh’s truck to scrap for money. A classmate of Josh’s, Josh had given Moralez a ride home three times.
“Josh had told me [after one of the rides] that he had taken the kid home. I asked him about it. He said they talked about God sometimes,” she said. “The hardest part of this is you give your kids every value you can. You teach your kids compassion and kindness, and then evil just walks in from another country and rips it out of your house.”
Moralez was sentenced to 99 years in prison and has been incarcerated for nine years. He will be eligible for parole in 21 years.
“I don’t want this to happen to another mother. That’s why we fight. I was just an average stay-at-home mom, and if it can happen to me, it can happen to you,” she said.
Agnes Gibboney has a unique view on immigration, having become a citizen of the United States as a teenager after her parents fled Budapest, Hungary, in 1957 when the Soviet Union invaded their country. She was 2 when her parents, brother and another couple crossed into Yugoslavia, where they spent about 10 months in a refuge camp. Her baby brother was born and died in the camp when they couldn’t get medical care.
Reaching the United States was the family’s goal, but they weren’t allowed in at the time, so they spent 13 years in Brazil.
“I was 16 when we legal immigrated to the United States. We had to go through head-to-toe medical evaluations to make sure we didn’t have any communicable diseases. What a concept that is. I couldn’t speak a word of English. I hated it when we got here. The culture shock was too much,” she said. “When we came here, Brazil gave our citizenship away, so essentially we didn’t belong to anyone. When I became a U.S. citizen, and this is the only citizenship I have, I promised to defend and protect my country against foreign and domestic invaders. That is what’s happening at the border. This is an invasion.”
In 2002, Gibboney’s firstborn child and only son, Ronald, was shot and killed by a bullet intended for someone else. The killer, Luis Humberto Gonzalez, will be eligible for parole in November 2020. Gibboney believes the agenda of the current Democratic Party works in favor of illegal immigrants and against American values.
“My son was sacrificed to fit in the agenda of the Democrats. They cry over children in cages, but do they cry for my child? They don’t give a darn about my laws, about anyone’s laws. They want votes and it’s an outrage,” she said. “Every citizen in this country should be storming into their politician’s office and demanding action.”
Wilkerson and Gibboney argue that their position is not about race, but the difference between legal and illegal.
“It doesn’t matter what color you are. It’s about legal versus illegal. Nothing else. I think God created every one of us equal. You can have no ill will about that and I am not better than anyone else here,” Wilkerson said.
Tuesday’s TFRW rally was timed to coincide with an appearance by conservative activist, Scott Presler, and the upcoming $198 million Cleveland ISD bond referendum.
The Cleveland area is at the epicenter of a Hispanic population boom, so Plum Grove Mayor Lee Ann Penton-Walker, a vocal opponent of the Hispanic neighborhoods that have sprung up around Plum Grove in recent years, led the discussion.
“It took 150 years to get 75,000 residents in Liberty County. In less than 10 years, illegals will have doubled that number,” said Penton-Walker.
Penton-Walker says she began fighting illegal immigration back in the 1990s, around the same time that two Houston area teens were murdered by gang members after they stumbled upon a gang initiation while taking a shortcut home.
“When illegal immigration made its way into my front yard, I had been fighting it for 20 years. As the devil would have it, he wanted to bring my enemy to my front door,” she said.
The Plum Grove mayor believes taxpayer dollars should be directed toward the wall, not more schools.
“Everybody gets mad at me because I oppose the school bonds. Don’t get mad at me. I’m fighting for the future of the children in a different way than you are. I am preserving their future. I am meeting it head-on. When you are in a battle of illegal immigration, you have to face it on every front, whether it’s selling them cars and licenses, whether it’s not owner-financing land to them, whether it’s telling them no more bonds for school,” she said. “When people look at me and say, ‘Well, it’s for the children.’ Well, if it was for American children, I would be all for it. Just because they are in America that doesn’t make them American children. It makes them a burden on the American people.”
The meeting ended with Presler giving advice on how conservatives can seek out more like-minded voters in time to help reelect Donald Trump in the next presidential election. Presler started a wide-scale, national clean-up initiative to pick up trash in cities like Baltimore, New York, Austin and Los Angeles. He hopes the cleanups will be the antithesis of the far-left Antifa movement by demonstrating peace and purpose.