President Trump cited the death of Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson on Tuesday morning while calling for tougher immigration laws and border security. "So disgraceful that a person illegally in our country killed @Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson," Trump tweeted. "This is just one of many such preventable tragedies."
A drunk driver killed Jackson, 26, and his Uber driver early Sunday morning. Police say the suspect, Manuel Orrego-Savala, is a Guatemalan citizen who has been deported twice before, and had a prior conviction for driving under the influence, CNN reports. Orrego-Savala, 37, allegedly had a blood-alcohol level that was nearly three times the legal limit when he hit Jackson.
Many critics responded to Trump's tweet expressing anger that the president chose to "politicize" the driver's immigration status rather than focus on the drunk driving epidemic:
Over 10,000 Americans are killed by drunk driving every year. To blame this on undocumented immigrants and not (primarily) cars and (secondarily) alcohol is a kind of blood libel. https://t.co/wRZ0Kywl70
— David “left of commie” Klion (@DavidKlion) February 6, 2018
Trump's tweet notably comes ahead of his memorandum Tuesday to establish a "National Vetting Center," which would vet anyone looking to enter the United States. Jackson's roommate, Chad Bouchez, has fiercely responded to attempts to use Jackson's death as a call for "stopping illegal immigration," though, as Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) did in a statement Monday.