Just days after she laid her son to rest, Pierce Corcoran's mother Wendy opened up to the world about losing her son.
"We are all aware, as a family, that nothing will bring Pierce back, but don't tell me my son, who lived in this country and followed its rules, doesn't deserve better," she wrote in part on an online blog. "DO THE RIGHT THING and come here legally and become a responsible citizen."
Corcoran's death in Knoxville has stirred up new frustrations among people on all sides of the immigration debate. The suspect in the case was driving without a license, without registration and is now in custody of federal immigration authorities.
Francisco Eduardo Franco Cambrany, 44, posted bond on a charge of criminally negligent homicide in Knox County. ICE escorted him to an undisclosed detention center after his bond was posted.
Cambrany's son told 10News his father has been living illegally in this country for more than a decade.
Police say Cambrany hit Corcoran's car when he swerved into oncoming traffic to avoid a slowing vehicle. While Cambrany faces a criminally negligent homicide charge, the story is fueling a debate over illegal immigration.
"My gosh, come here the right way," said Maria Espinoza, Co-founder of The Remembrance Project.
The organization aims to memorialize Americans killed by illegal immigrants. The organization made a memorial panel for Pierce, and the Corcoran family have expressed their thanks to them online.
"People are realizing that because existing laws are not being enforced, Americans are being killed by people who should not be here in the first place," Espinoza said.
On the other side of the debate, Meghan Conley with Allies of Knoxville's Immigrant Neighbors said she's not surprised about where the conversation has shifted, but that it is not accurate.
"I hope that people will understand that both immigrant and ally communities in Knoxville stand with immigrants," Conley said. "Immigrants, both authorized and unauthorized, are far less likely to commit any type of crime, including violent crime, than US-born citizens."
The Corcorans were on Fox News with Sean Hannity on Monday as the story of Pierce's death gained nationwide attention.
Wendy emphasized Pierce's memory in her blog post, which Hannity read portions of on-air.
"Pierce's life is to be remembered and celebrated for his relationship with his Heavenly Father," Wendy Corcoran wrote. "He was compassionate towards others, others whom might look differently than he or whom might speak differently than he."