New London mayoral candidate's full comments on immigration

The subject of Editorial Page Editor Paul Choiniere’s Sept. 1 column was his interview with Martin T. Olsen Jr., the Republican candidate for mayor of New London. The column discussed numerous topics, among them city policies, approved by resolution, to limit cooperation between city police and federal immigration enforcement agents. Olsen, a counselor, voted against the resolution.

Democrats have since sought to make Olsen’s comments and his vote a campaign issue. Olsen in turn charged Democrats with twisting his comments and of “trying to instill fear into our community.”

To place Olsen’s comments in their full context, the following is the text of that part of the interview dealing with the immigration matter.

Choiniere: Should the city police be more cooperative in helping ICE enforce immigration law?

Olsen: I think that the answer to that is, when appropriate, the answer is yes.

Choiniere: When is it appropriate?

Olsen: Well, it’s on a case by case basis. I don’t think you can paint with a broad brush or blanket wise. If somebody has been jay walking and they get a ticket, I don’t think you need ICE coming in here to take care of that. If somebody’s got other issues that are more significant, then I think that may be appropriate.

Choiniere: Do you think New London has gone the sanctuary city path and is that a good idea or not?

Olsen: We had that as an issue this past term and I did not support that. I feel strongly that sanctuary cities, or immigration in general, I should say, is a federal issue and it should be dealt with in Washington. And it is misguided being dealt with here, locally, whether it be New London or any other community for that matter. And if we’re not happy with what’s going on, we should be dealing with our friends in Washington — our senators and our congressmen — that’s their fight. And, quite frankly, I think both parties in Washington fell on their swords and are not doing their job. But take it out on them. Both parties. Using it as a political tool is not helping anybody, not solving any problems. And, quite frankly, the flame-throwing rhetoric that comes out of the president is not helpful, either.



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