Courtesy of The New York Times

Trump’s Witch Hunt a Waste

February 5, 2018

   7-Eleven is a cheap affordable convenience store, run like any other gas station. The hordes of employees are seemingly irrelevant, but not according to the Trump administration. On Wednesday January 10th, ICE agents (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) arrived at 7-Elevens across the country. They peppered the employers and employees with questions as to if they were here legally.

   To me this just a witch hunt by the Trump administration. Trump has made it clear that it is his policy to dispatch of immigrants. ICE has started to arrest undocumented immigrants in their home. The Trump administration has said they want to get rid of immigrants and  “illegals”. These 7-Eleven raids resulted in 21 arrests from 98 stores in 17 states.

The Trump witch hunt is officially on, and the poor use of resources is what is most disappointing to me. The amount of cash that was most likely used on this project – with minimal results – was just outrageous. 

In the year 2012, ICE requested a budget of over 5.8 billion dollars (according to their website). In today’s money that would be $6,227,685,392.48 (according to the CPI inflation calculator). The average employee works 8 hours a day and is paid ten dollars per hour – and there are over 20,000 employees. There is more spent for the bonuses — which means $1,800,000 a year is spent on employees (at least). ICE still has a massive budget and perhaps this budget should be reduced.

The tax increase, along with Trump’s anti immigration policy can only mean a budget increase for ICE. I think this is a huge waste of money: going on a witch hunt around the country, attempting to find undocumented immigrants working at convenience stores.   

A student, who wished to remain anonymous, stated “it’s a poor use of government resources,” adding “these are tax paying people.” They worry that ICE is overstepping their bounds and that things may get worse.

Zach Nye, an active member of the south community, understands the fear. Many are saying of the targeted “There not doing anything wrong.” (Why are they being hunted?) The news make many worried including Zach and myself, as there seems to be no limit to ICE’s domain and power.

   Immigrant right leaders have come out in support of immigrants. “If it continues happening it will mostly damage the businesses,” said Favio Ramirez-Caminatti, executive director of El Centro del Inmigrante in Port Richmond. “I think ICE should focus (on) and target people who are a threat to the public safety — people who are a national security threat.” The El Centro del Immigrantes is a day work center located on station island. Their goal is to get inmates off the streets and give them work experience.

   I think Ramirez-Caminatti is right – it is a waste of resources. There are more important things that ICE can do with their time. The number of threats to national security of the United States are increasing. And what threat does 91 immigrant workers working at 7-Elevens pose? The impact of these 7-Eleven workers is minimal to both the economy and the security of the United States.

The United States’ economy is doing pretty well, and some allocation of tax revenue to ICE would be permissible; However, we should cut taxes. This would help the American people more. A new bill cutting taxes has just gone into effect, so the Trump Administration cannot allocate more tax funds to ICE.

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