As West Michigan residents confront the ugly consequences of illegal immigration following the murder of a young Grand Rapids woman, the state’s top Democrats are focused on beer, abortion, and Women’s History Month.

Michigan State Police on Sunday arrested a previously deported illegal immigrant from Mexico on numerous charges including open murder after the body of a young woman was discovered on U.S. 131 with apparent gunshot wounds.

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As Brandon Ortiz-Vite, 25, awaited arraignment Tuesday on six charges that also include carjacking, operating while intoxicated, carrying a concealed firearm, felony firearm possession, and driving without a license, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had yet to acknowledge the tragedy.

“Women deserve to make their own decisions about if, when, and how to have a family,” the governor posted to X on Tuesday. “Pass it on.”

The Whitmer X post is one of several about “reproductive freedom” since Ortiz-Vite’s arrest on Sunday, while others have centered on promoting Oberon beer, the NCAA basketball tournament, and imaginary holidays.

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“Happy Holi everyone!” Whitmer posted Monday. “This beautiful holiday is about coming together to celebrate the victory of good over evil, just in time for spring. If you’re celebrating, I hope you listen to great music, enjoy good food, and have a Holi filled with color.”

Other top Michigan Democrats have also ignored the gruesome murder to promote Oberon and abortion, and attack Republicans.

“Today, the Supreme Court is hearing arguments on a case that threatens access to mifepristone, a safe and effective drug used in most abortions,” U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin posted to X on Tuesday, along with a video of herself talking. “This is the biggest abortion case since Dobb. Here’s what you need to know about how it could affect Michigan and the nation.”

On Monday, as Ortiz-Vite awaited arraignment: “Michiganders – if you hurry and put your Oberon in the snow that’s left it will be cold by 5pm,” Slotkin wrote. “Happy Oberon Day!”

It was similar silence from Rep. Hillary Scholten, who represents Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District covering Grand Rapids.

“Happy Oberon Day!” Scholten posted on Monday. “With the warm weather today too, it’s a reminder that summer is coming soon to the beautiful Lake Michigan lakeshore!”

Only one of the state’s notable Democratic female officeholders bothered to acknowledge the murder or mention the victim’s name: Ruby Garcia.

The 25-year-old Grand Rapids woman was found on the shoulder of U.S. 131 around 11:38 p.m. on Friday with gunshot wounds following an altercation with Ortiz-Vite, the man Michigan State Police on Tuesday identified as her boyfriend.

Ortiz-Vite, according to federal officials, was deported in 2020 during former President Donald Trump’s administration following several arrests for driving without a license, breaking and entering, and operating while intoxicated.

Ortiz-Vite returned to the country illegally, although when exactly is unclear.

Officials at a press conference on Tuesday did not discuss his immigration status, and focused instead on framing the crime as a domestic dispute.

“Through the investigation, it is apparent that he and the victim, Ruby, were in a romantic relationship,” Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said. “So this is another case of a domestic violence homicide that we’ve seen, quite frankly, far too often over the last few years.”

Court records cited by WOOD noted “Brandon confessed to shooting Ruby multiple times during an argument while inside her vehicle.”

“(Ortiz-Vite) stated that once she appeared deceased, he unbuckled her seatbelt and removed her from the vehicle,” the documents read. “He then stated he drove her vehicle away from the scene.”

Garcia’s red Mazda was recovered on Saturday near South Haven with bullet holes and suspected blood stains inside. Ortiz-Vite called police on Sunday to surrender and was arrested at a church. Police recovered a 9mm handgun Ortiz-Vite “had purchased illegally,” according to court records.

Other details of the alleged murder came from a text conversation between Garcia and Ortiz-Vite on the victim’s phone.

“During the conversation, it was apparent that both the deceased and Brandon had met at her residence the night of the homicide approximately an hour before it occurred,” according to the probable cause affidavit.

Ortiz-Vite was arrested and booked into the Kent County Jail on Sunday. He was arraigned on Tuesday, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Detroit “lodged a detainer with Kent County Jail for Ortiz-Vite,” according to an ICE press release.

Garcia’s family is now raising funds for her funeral through a GoFundMe campaign that has raised $15,317 through 279 donations as of Tuesday evening.

“She was a great daughter, sister, aunt and friend,” Ruby’s sister, Mavi Garcia, told The Midwesterner. “She will be remembered as being full of life and laughter, those who were around her would know she was silly and made everyone laugh.”

Mavi Garcia added: “Her loss has impacted the lives of many people. Her life was taken too soon. She deserved to live life, travel the world, have kids and follow her dreams.”

Garcia’s death follows just a week after Republican state Rep. Andrew Fink re-introduced a plan he sponsored last term to ban sanctuary designations in Michigan. Senate Republicans have introduced similar legislation, which has been blocked by Democrats in both chambers.

“An illegal immigrant is accused of murdering a young woman during a carjacking attempt in Michigan last week, and rather than focusing on border security and safe communities, the Whitmer administration appears to be focused on covering up our state’s population loss by subsidizing housing for not only refugees but anyone who has filed an application for asylum, over half of which are routinely rejected,” Fink told The Midwesterner on Tuesday.
“While we should be adopting policies like my legislation prohibiting sanctuary cities, the governor’s administration continues to move in the opposite direction by making Michigan more inviting to criminals,” Fink continued. “These policies have consequences, and we are tragically seeing them manifest more often in our state.”
In a statement to WZZM, Michigan U.S. Rep. Hillary Scholten stated, “My heart breaks for Ruby Garcia and her family as they grapple with this unspeakable tragedy. The individual who committed this heinous crime should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I’m continuing to push for bipartisan immigration reform that both secures our border and makes sure that individuals who come to our country are fully vetted to keep our communities safe.”
This article has been updated to include Rep. Scholten’s statement to WZZM.