In a letter to Mayor Joe Ganim, former City Councilman Tom White writes, “I urge you to reestablish communications personally with Donald Trump and explore the possibility of Bridgeport participating in an expedited effort to implement immigration reform in a community where it has direct impact on the lives of many residents.” White’s letter follows:
“We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws.”
These words are from President Bill Clinton’s State of the Union address in 1995. These words are often repeated to express how torn reasonable Americans feel about balancing our welcoming of immigrants and the need for laws to establish guidelines.
President Clinton went on to say “It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years and we must do more to stop it.” The Clinton administration and the following Bush administration followed the law regarding deportation of illegal aliens. The Obama administration modified its approach and significantly reduced deportations.
At the Federal level of government, there appears to be consensus that any consideration for reform of immigration policies must begin with deportation of criminal aliens.
At the local level, there has been an emotional response with little acknowledgement of laws by those who have organized efforts to adopt a designation of ‘sanctuary city.’ The term ‘sanctuary city’ has varying meanings from State to State but usually implies non-compliance with some immigration laws.
Rather than joining local officials in Connecticut and in other States who have followed their emotions and have acted defiantly, I urge you to act rationally and lawfully. Given how our Governor and Congressional delegation have distanced themselves from the Trump Administration, I urge you to reestablish communications personally with Donald Trump and explore the possibility of Bridgeport participating in an expedited effort to implement immigration reform in a community where it has direct impact on the lives of many residents. Perhaps you and President Trump can break the log jam of issues ranging from partisan politics to constitutional interpretations. Donald Trump appears to be an unconventional President. Perhaps this unconventional approach can lower barriers to solutions by focusing on the benefits to an economically depressed city such as Bridgeport.