President Donald Trump signed into law a bill on April 13, 2018, that expands the AMBER Alert system to tribal communities. The passage of this legislation comes nearly two years after eleven-year-old Ashlynne Mike was sexually assaulted and murdered on the Navajo Nation reservation in New Mexico. The Ashlynne Mike AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act gives tribes direct access to federal grants to improve AMBER Alert systems and provide additional training and technical assistance.
“This new law makes critical resources available to protect American Indian children and, we hope, will spare others the loss and suffering endured by Ashlynne’s family,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio.
Friends and family of Ashlynne Mike gathered in Waterflow, New Mexico, the day after the act was signed. Hundreds of people participated in a 5k run, bike race and a visit to Ashlynne’s school for presentations on safety awareness. “It is wonderful to have this AMBER Alert available to all the native nations across the United States,” said Gary Mike, Ashlynne’s father. “But it is also bitter in knowing it had to come in our lives; to have something like this happen to our child to open the eyes of people.”