NEW YORK — Thousands of Americans think Melania Trump's refusal to live in the White House is putting taxpayers in the poorhouse — and they're giving her an ultimatum.
The Change.org petition calls for the first lady to move to the White House or pay for her own security back at Trump Tower in New York.
"As to help relieve the national debt, this expense yields no positive results for the nation and should be cut from being funded," the petition to the Senate reads.
Police Commissioner James O'Neill told lawmakers in February it costs the NYPD between $127,000 and $146,000 a day to protect the first lady and her 11-year-old son Barron. When the president is in town, the city pays more than $308,000.
Signatures poured in with Americans voicing their thoughts on paying to protect Trump Tower.
"I'm signing because I would rather our taxpayer money be used to improve and keep our social programs, rather than being used to guard Trump Tower just because the first lady doesn't want to move," wrote Ryan Dontje of Rochester Hills, Michigan.
Many people discussed the programs President Donald Trump wants to cut, including Meals on Wheels.
Helen Marchiorlatti of Daly City, California, said she won't pay taxes to support the first lady "living in luxury while the elderly lose meals and people lose their health insurance."
Businesses near Trump Tower are paying the price for tight security for the first lady and her young son, Barron.
The Secret Service and NYPD have blocked off sidewalks in front of the tower and set up barricades on surrounding blocks.
A survey conducted by City Comptroller Scott Stringer in December 2016 found that of 50 businesses in the area, 80 percent of them are losing business.
"I have nothing personal against Melania. But this is both immoral and irresponsible for the Trumps to expect the U.S. to support their opulent lifestyle. AND, it costs NYC for added security and hurts the businesses around Trump Tower," said Mary Schmidt of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the petition.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the petition had over 130,000 supporters. The petition was created last week by Doug Caruana of Colorado.
"Want to hear what the people are wanting to say?" Caruana tweeted on Mar. 18. He included the hashtags #TakeBackAmerica, #CutTheWaste and #MAGA, President Trump's campaign slogan of "Make America Great Again."
Once the petition has 150,000 signatures, it will be sent to Democratic senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.