THE NATIONAL INTEREST — Susanna Ruth Makinson can blame a lot of things for why her then-husband was shot dead eight years ago while patrolling the streets of Fort Myers, Florida, the first time since 1930 a police officer had been gunned down in the city.
That’s because, in a distant way out of her—and his—control, Andrew Widman’s death felt preventable; his killer, Abel Arango, was an illegal immigrant and convicted felon who was released from detention because his native Cuba wouldn’t take him back.
But though Makinson wishes the government would do more to fix this little-known problem in the immigration system, to do more to pressure uncooperative countries to accept their citizens who are here illegally and commit crimes, she also has gained a lifetime of perspective raising three kids without their father.
“It’s a huge problem that criminals take advantage of; most people don’t know it’s possible for the originating country to decline the person being deported,” Makinson told The Daily Signal in an interview. “It bothers me. At the same time, what if I had been sick that day and my husband hadn’t gone to work? I would go crazy thinking through every ‘what if’ scenario. I try not to do that. We don’t live in a perfect world.”
Pressure to Do More: