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EDITORIAL: Don't criticize immigration officials, criticize policy

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Friday, April 21, 2017 01:38 pm

Some government officials are being condemned by millions of Americans for a strange reason: They are enforcing the law.

That makes no sense except to those who have forgotten our very freedom is based on rule by law, not by the whims of powerful individuals or whatever happens to be the politically correct trend of the day.

On Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly lost his patience with critics of his agency for enforcing immigration laws.

During a speech in Washington, Kelly felt it necessary to defend personnel in his agency. “They have been asked to do more with less and less and less. They are often ridiculed and insulted by public officials and frequently convicted in the court of public opinion on unfounded allegations testified to by street lawyers and spokespersons,” Kelly noted.

That sort of attitude toward those we rely on to protect us in a variety of ways may ring a bell with those who remember America during the 1960s and early 1970s. That was a time when soldiers returning from the Vietnam War, where many laid their lives on the line for us, were accused of being “baby killers” and sometimes suffered being spat upon by the very people for whom they fought.

It won’t do. Many of the men and women who enforce immigration laws make enormous sacrifices and display courage and dedication. On rare occasions, they give their lives in service.

Those critical of immigration enforcement efforts are targeting the wrong people. If they want the laws changed, they should be talking to their members of Congress —including both Democrats and Republicans.

It needs to be remembered that even when Democrats controlled Congress and President Obama was in the White House, immigration law was not altered.

Kelly made the point well: Those who dislike immigration policy “should have the courage and skill to change the laws. Otherwise, they should shut up and support the men and women on the front lines.”


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