Op-Ed

If foreign aid is cut, Trump’s push to oust illegal immigrants will bring us more illegal immigrants

Farmworkers in a cabbage field near King City, California.
Farmworkers in a cabbage field near King City, California. AP

I support immigration reform — but like most Americans, I don’t get that worked up about my government expelling undocumented immigrants convicted of felonies.

So I didn’t grouse too much when the Obama administration stepped up the deportation of undocumented immigrants but kept the focus largely on convicts. To be sure, immigrants are not a big violent-crime threat in this country — despite President Trump’s xenophobic nonsense to the contrary. But if you’re here illegally and were dumb or malevolent enough to rob, assault, or murder somebody, let’s just say you drained whatever pro-immigrant compassion I had for you.

Which is to say: I usually don’t consider what’s spent on booting out an undocumented convict a waste of taxpayer money.

But which is also to say: Whatever they just spent to boot out Mario Hernandez-Delacruz was a waste of taxpayer money.

Hernandez-Delacruz is just the latest productive, law-abiding, taxpaying undocumented immigrant the Trump administration has collared for deportation. The father of three had a carpeting business in Detroit. He attended a Pentecostal church. He’d helped police with robbery investigations in his neighborhood — something a lot of undocumented migrants are wary of stepping out of the shadows to do.

Still, federal agents from Immigration & Customs Enforcement, or ICE, zeroed in on Hernandez-Delacruz — who came to this country illegally almost 20 years ago — and this month they put him on a plane back to his native Mexico.

His deportation involved no real consideration of public security.

Just petulant spite.

To read Tim Padgett’s entire column, click here.

Tim Padgett is WLRN’S Americas editor.

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