Sarah Root’s mother, Michelle, is getting ready to testify in front of Congress on Tuesday to urge lawmakers to change immigration law.
Immigration officials did not put a hold on the driver who investigators said killed 21-year-old Sarah Root the day of her graduation.
Now 19-year-old Eswin Mejia is nowhere to be found.
Root is will speak at the House Judiciary Committee at a hearing that’s titled “The Real Victims of a Reckless and Lawless Immigration Policy: Families and Survivors Speak Out on the Real Cost of This Administration’s Policies”.
But on Monday she watched Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst speak about her daughter on the Senate floor.
“This case has shed light on the breakdown between the federal government and state and locals,” said Grassley.
“Only after a floor speech, multiple letters, and hearing questions from Senators from Nebraska and Iowa, as well as media attention and concerns raised by the Root family, did ICE finally acknowledge that they should have taken Mejia into custody,” said Ernst.
Root and her family were sitting inside the chamber watching the speeches.
“We were seated up above and we have like our own section away from the other people that were there so that we could just listen and not have any interruptions from anybody else-and it was very very powerful,” said Root.
Root said she’s ready to meet lawmakers face to face for the first time and share her story, one of heartbreak and hope for changes to the immigration system.
Root said she’s surprised she doesn’t have butterflies before testifying.
“I'm not nervous at all, I was telling my sister it's kind of a strange feeling knowing that I'm not nervous and I do look forward sharing Sarah's voice,” said Root.
And it’s that voice Root hopes can spur on change and she hopes others will speak out too.
“I think they need to hear the thousands of voices out there for the thousands of people that we have lost to illegal immigrants,” said Root.
Root’s testimony starts at 9a.m Central time.
Click here to read what Root will say when testifying: https://judiciary.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Written-Testimony-of-Michelle-Root_4.15.16.pdf