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Letter: Children first, politics later

July 7, 2018

I was happy to see the Advocate article on June 22 about Connecticut lawmakers heading to the southern border (news story, “State lawmakers scheduled to visit southern border”). It is important for all of us to have first-hand information and context for the crisis upon us.

It is also important for us to not be talked out of our own reality. While President Donald Trump parades unfortunate crime victims on stage, the reality is that during the time of this “massive’ influx of immigrants, violent crime has actually decreased in the United States. The 10 places with the largest increases in immigrants had lower crime rates in 2016 than in 1980. This is based on numerous studies from major universities and reported by several sources.

In my city of Stamford, I feel safe even as Connecticut is considered one of the states with the highest rates of undocumented immigrants. I am proud of our attempts to provide services and yes, protect them from inhumane policies. I am proud of our police department that works so hard to balance effective law enforcement with maintaining the trust of the community. Will I stand by while we diminish our humanity, weaken our communities and hurt children and families? No, I will not. I can care about those people who lost family members to crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. I can also care about people suffering at the border. I believe we are human enough to do both, smart enough to help both and kind enough not to hate either.

As the Talmud states “If you save one life, you save the world.”

Audrey Apfel

Stamford

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