Danbury mayor calls Malloy ‘deeply irresponsible’ on immigration

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DANBURY -- Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton saw an opportunity in a memo sent from Gov. Dannel P. Molloy to school superintendents and police chiefs statewide last week.

Boughton says it was "deeply irresponsible" of Malloy to send a memo reminding these officials that they are not required to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE,  "because often times ICE's work is based on things like human trafficking, sex trafficking and other crimes against children and other horrific crimes," said Boughton, who Monday touted his long-standing partnership with ICE. He says their teamwork has helped get nearly two dozen serious criminals off of Danbury's streets and out of the country.

President Donald Trump reiterated again today that ICE is primarily interested in getting serious criminals, who are here illegally, out of our country. Danbury, like many communities, isn't buying it, though.

Fearful is not too strong a word to describe how immigrants in Danbury have been feeling since Trump was elected.

"In June of 2016, [Trump] announced he's going to run for President and he said Mexico is sending us the criminals and maybe some folks are good," said Wilson Hernandez, owner of La Mitad del Mundo, and Ecuadorian restaurant on Main Street.

He says quality of life for immigrants is depressing thanks to Trump.

"If we forget who we are, and where we came from, then we are going to face some obstacles in the future," said Hernandez.

But, Boughton says immigrants, including those that are undocumented, should relax.

"If you're just out there doing what you do every day, raising your kids and raising a family and doing that lawfully, you don't have anything to worry about," said Boughton.

The 17 combined Connecticut community colleges and state universities, including Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, have rolled out a new protocol to keep students comfortable on campus.

"We will comply with federal law, but we're not going to, in terms of our police departments and security personnel, we're not going to assist in detaining," said Mark Ojakian, President of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities."

Members of the Danbury based Dominican Club of Connecticut say they're preparing their members with valuable immigration information.

"If somebody comes to your house, you don't have to give your name," said Fidel Hombra of Danbury. "You don't have to give them documents. You have your right to have a lawyer with you."