Murdered Salinas girl mentioned at White House press conference

A Salinas girl who was found brutally murdered in a Castroville artichoke field in 1990 was mentioned at a White House press conference Thursday as President Donald Trump’s press secretary urged Congress to pass tougher immigration laws.

Christy Sue Pina, 14, of Salinas, was murdered by Arsenio “Archie” Leyva, according to investigators. Leyva had entered the U.S. illegally, had a long criminal record, and fled to Mexico after he stabbed and strangled Pina to death.

Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders focused on Pina while explaining the importance of two new bills that will help secure the U.S.-Mexico border, strip federal dollars from self-proclaimed “sanctuary” cities, and stiffen punishments for people who re-enter the U.S. illegally.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved both bills, also known as the “No Sanctuary For Criminals Act” and “Kate’s Law,” on Thursday afternoon.

Trump met at the White House on Wednesday with more than a dozen people whose family members were killed by illegal immigrants. President Trump also learned about the tragic end to Pina’s life.

Pina was killed by a violent immigrant “who should never have been allowed into our country,” Sanders said at Thursday’s press conference.

“Christy Pina, a 14-year-old girl who was raped and murdered by a man who had multiple warrants out for other crimes involving kidnapping and rape,” Sanders said.

Family photo

Christy Sue Pina

“Twenty-five years later, he was finally located in his native Mexico, where he fled after murdering Christy,” Sanders said.

Leyva was found by Mexican authorities in 2015, but he is still fighting extradition.

WATCH: White House Press conference talks about Christy Pina

House GOP backs bills to crack down on illegal immigration

WASHINGTON (AP) – Warning of threats to public safety and national security, the Republican-led House on Thursday approved two bills to crack down on illegal immigration, a key priority for President Donald Trump.

One bill would strip federal dollars from self-proclaimed “sanctuary” cities that shield residents from federal immigration authorities, while a separate measure would stiffen punishments for people who re-enter the U.S. illegally.

The sanctuary measure was approved 228-195, while the bill to punish deportees was approved 257-167.

Deputy White House Press…

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