2017-03-02 / Letters to the Editor

Local cops can handle their immigration role

To the editor:

Last week, Helen O’Grady wrote: “Jamestown is a sanctuary town, at least in its de facto policy regarding immigrants.” Really? Immigrants yes, trespassers no.

People who have entered this nation through any path other than a legitimate border crossing, or passing through customs check points with respect to all avenues of transportation are not immigrants. They have violated U.S. sovereignty.

This nation is posted land with fences and border security; it is posted land like that marked with purple painted posts. In some states, proprietors actually are allowed to shoot trespassers on posted land! Any state bill that recognizes and affirms the value of immigrants should not recognize trespassers in the same light.

My grandparents and some of my great-grandparents were immigrants. The mother of my four children was an immigrant from El Salvador in 1963. Is Shelby Maldonado, the daughter of a Guatemalan immigrant, or a trespasser? In light of what has been happening here for decades that should be considered a legitimate question.

Though local law enforcement is not required to enforce immigration and naturalization statutes, you insult their intelligence by implying they could not perform duties for “complicated” federal immigration laws if called upon. It would not interfere with their daily routine protecting our communities and sustaining law and order.

Until Congress legislates an act of comprehensive immigration reform, all states must follow the current statutes in place. That includes e-verify, which requires verification of every employee’s I-9 documentation against federal immigration records.

Thomas Bembenek
Green Lane

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