OUR VIEW: Is this really the best use of taxpayer dollars?

Published on Friday, 1 December 2017 21:45
Written by staff

President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget includes “$185.9 million to support the expansion of ICE’s interior enforcement activities under an executive order to hire an additional 850 immigration officers, 150 criminal investigators, and 805 law enforcement mission support staff.”

Frankly, if the money were to be spent on gangs like MS-13, which wreaked terror on Long Island, or on South American drug runners, we might say the money was well spent.

It’s harder to understand why Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees spend their efforts - and our money - on disrupting families here in Connecticut.

It’s not that we support the idea that people are breaking the law, no matter how difficult their lives were in their home country. But lately ICE seems to be targeting hard-working individuals, taxpayers with growing families that depend on them and who might be left to go on welfare if the breadwinner is deported.

The latest is Nelson Pinos Gonzalez, who took sanctuary Thursday in a New Haven church. He has lived in the U.S. since 1992 and was the sole support of his family until his status as undocumented became known and then he was fired. He is the father of three American citizens.

Earlier this year, lawyers and Congressional representatives won a stay for Miriam Martinez, 53, the mother of a child with a life-threatening condition. She has lived here since she was 27.

Again, we are not suggesting that entering the country illegally is right or that those who do so are above the law. But we can’t help wondering about how ICE prioritizes those it goes after. Surely there are drug runners who are a greater threat to our country that this middle-aged Mom.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Editorials on Friday, 1 December 2017 21:45. Updated: Friday, 1 December 2017 21:47.