A Knoxville family’s call for change on border security continued today in Washington, D.C.
The Corcoran family’s son and brother Pierce, 22, was killed in a head-on collision late last month on the Chapman Highway. Prosecutors say the driver blamed in the crash, Franco Francisco-Eduardo, was in the country illegally.
Yesterday, the Corcorans took part in a news conference on the steps of Capitol Hill with a group supporting President Trump’s effort to build a wall along the southern border.
Today, the Corcoran family met with Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Vice President Mike Pence and Presidential Adviser Kelly Ann Conway.
Speaking with our Washington, D.C. Bureau, the Corcorans say their message to leaders is to put their political differences aside and build that wall.
Pierce’s father, D.J. Corcoran, a captain with the Knoxville Fire Department and public information officer, saying Wednesday that his family is not opposed to people coming into the country legally, and that they’re not angry with the driver blamed in the crash – they’re angry with the politics that allows illegal immigration to persist.
“There’s people that are staying in the country at the hands of business owners that employ them,” D.J. Corcoran said. “They know they’re illegal, but they continue to keep them here and they’re exploiting them. They’re exploiting their talents they’re not paying them their wages. It’s cheap wages and it’s not fair for either side. And it forces those people to stay in the shadows, in the background, and not do the things that citizens are required to do – like getting a driver’s license and being insured.”
Sen. Marsha Blackburn said in a statement that the Corcoran family “deserves our most heart-felt condolences and a solemn commitment to secure the border.”
After the family’s meeting with Vice President of the United States Mike Pence on Wednesday, D.J. Corcoran said, “We felt very good about the meeting. (Pence) prayed with us and assured us they hear our plea and The Office would do everything in their power to secure our borders.”
The Corcorans also joined six other Angel Families – those whose loved ones have been killed by undocumented immigrants – in the meeting with Pence.
As for the driver blamed for the fatal crash, Franco Francisco-Eduardo, he is charged with criminally negligent homicide. A judge last week revoked his bond, meaning he will stay in Knox County to face trial rather than be handed back over to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Francisco-Eduardo has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday in Knox County Court.