130,000 Sign Petition To Kick Melania Out Of New York
It costs the city an estimated nearly $150,000 a day to protect Melania and Barron Trump
More than 130,000 people have signed a petition to kick Melania Trump and her son Barron out of New York City, where they’ve lived since the election, or to require her to foot the bill for her protection herself.
“The U.S. taxpayer is paying an exorbitant amount of money to protect the First Lady in Trump Tower, located in New York City,” states the Change.org petition which was started on March 18. “This expense yields no positive results for the nation and should be cut from being funded.”
Estimates vary, but according to New York Police Department Commissioner James P. O’Neill, the security cost for the First Lady and her 10-year-old son Barron ranges from 127,000 to 146,000 dollars a day. That comes out to between 50 and 60 million dollars a year, depending on whether or not President Donald Trump comes back to New York City on the weekends. A spokesperson for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told Politifact that the total cost to protect Trump, Melania and Barron between election day and inauguration was $37 million.
Many of the people who signed the petition said the security expenses were a waste of tax-payer dollars that could be allocated for social services. “I am outraged that the so-called first lady is totally oblivious to the financial hardship she is heaping on our great city,” one commenter wrote beneath the petition. “The tax money saved by eliminating these extra protection expenses can be used to feed senior citizens. Why is our tax money being spent on people who already have more than their fair share?” another wrote.
In November, de Blasio said, “The number one imperative here is the safety and security” of the then president-elect and his family. He also said no president has ever stayed in the city long term, and protecting Trump and his family would require federal funding were they to stay in the city on a regular basis. As of February 22, the federal government reimbursed New York City around $7 million dollars.