Off-balance, ill-researched

News-Register, McMinnville

I was disheartened to read the off-balanced, ill-researched “Immigration sweeps” commentary of Feb. 16, which compared the brave men and women enforcing our immigration laws to Nazis. It substituted hyperbole and emotion for facts and reason.

The author branded ICE a “police force operating outside the usual bounds of due process.” That’s absolutely untrue.

Upon arrest, every alien is provided with Form I-826, Notice of Rights and Request for Disposition. It advises him how to request a hearing, claim asylum or consent to voluntary return.

The author mentioned Isidro Andrade-Tafolla, a naturalized citizen briefly questioned outside a courthouse by plainclothes ICE agents. Once they determined he wasn’t their target, they let him go. It was just a stop to determine if he was the wanted individual, which police do every day.

Agents don’t hover outside courthouses searching for people who “might” be in the country illegally, as the author states. Once ICE has identified an alien in violation, however, a court date provides a set time and location facilitating apprehension.

Oregon’s sanctuary policy is self-defeating. With their databases, language skills and unique arrest authority, ICE agents serve as a huge force multiplier for local agencies.

Removing wanted criminal aliens from the community is a positive step, and being able to do it from the safety of a county courthouse and jail complex is preferred by everyone.

Ángel Maturino Reséndiz, the Railway Killer, was identified through fingerprints in an INS database. So was Lee Boyd Malvo, the D.C. Sniper.

The author argues aliens are being detained without constitutionally adequate hearings. Not true.

Arrests require probable cause. Hearings require free legal representation and fair bond determination.

Syed Ahmed Jamal, one of those mentioned in the article, absconded after being ordered out of the country in 2001. He’s lucky he wasn’t prosecuted criminally under Title 8 of federal criminal code.

This Viewpoint was light on facts and heavy on bias. I thought the public should be informed.

Clay Othic, Sheridan

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