I believe that the Hartford Police Department acted responsibly in working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in trying to apprehend a criminal who, if his aim were better, would have killed the man he shot on Oct. 2.
The recent appearance of ICE agents in the Parkville section of the city as part of the criminal investigation may lead to the discovery of other residents who are here illegally, which is unfortunate. Nevertheless, if, during a hunt for a gunman, illegal activity is discovered, appropriate action must be taken. This is not anti-immigrant, it is not anti-illegal immigrant, it is pro law-and-order.
In Hartford on Oct. 2, a man was shot in the neck and fortunately was not killed. The alleged shooter is suspected of being in the country illegally. In order for the Hartford Police Department to find the suspect, the authorities must look in a community that may very well have many other people who are here illegally.
Because there is no comprehensive immigration policy, it is only logical that the Hartford Police Department look for the suspect with the help of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. ICE agents have a way of putting the fear of God in people who are in the country illegally. But that is as it should be, because everyone who is in the country illegally knows that if they get caught they will be deported.
There are legal ways for anyone in the world to join this great country of immigrants. I would suggest to anyone that is in the country illegally to rethink the value of what they have. If being in the country illegally is truly worth the fear of being discovered and deported, than it is worth obtaining residency by lawful means.
If we continue down our current path, we will soon have nothing left to give those who are truly our friends, those who want to come to this country through the proper channels. The United States is being overwhelmed by individuals who do not have the country's best interest at heart, but rather their own. Meanwhile, the country is being invaded quietly as we sit back and do nothing but talk about the issue.
The U.S. has many sins and transgressions, but it is founded on the principle of law. Friends don't ask friends to give up everything they have as a condition of friendship. A better term to describe that type of friend is "the enemy within."
Exploitation — or shall I say slavery? — is alive and well. It is hiding in plain sight under the guise of illegal immigration.
Municipalities need to pressure Congress for comprehensive immigration reform and call for immediate legislation that gives our cities and towns the tools needed to deal with this problem while there is still time. It must be done before the country and the lives of these illegal immigrants are both torn apart.
J. Stan McCauley is a pastor and was the Republican candidate for mayor in Hartford.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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