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Illegal Aliens and Actions by the Immigration Service

October 13, 1985

Jere Witter, in his "Santa Ana Police Invite In the Tanks" (Sept. 22), chooses to smear local police departments and the Immigration and Naturalization Service rather than take a hard, objective look at the crime scene in Santa Ana and other Orange County communities.

In doing so, he does not only a disservice to himself, but to The Times' readers as well.

Witter, almost by his own admission, believes it is callous and unnecessary for the Immigration and Naturalization Service to perform its duty as mandated by Congress, namely, to arrest illegal aliens, even if they are involved in major criminal activity in our communities.

Perhaps Witter does not know that illegal aliens are responsible for 60% of the crime in Santa Ana. I am sure most other Orange County communities can make the same claim.

How better to deal with a cancer than cut it out? The planned Santa Ana-INS task force needs no apology or justification. The fact that illegal aliens are responsible for most of the crime in the community is reason enough. Most Santa Ana citizens--including those in the legal Hispanic community who suffer the most from crime committed by illegals--agree with the plan of action.

There is no pat solution to wiping out crime in our communities, but serious enforcement efforts such as the planned one in Santa Ana will greatly reduce criminal activity. Robbers, muggers, rapists and other assorted criminals get the message quickly.

Meanwhile, uninformed activists like Witter, who offer no constructive alternatives, are simply stumbling blocks who disrupt progress for just a short while.

HAROLD W. EZELL

Regional Commissioner,

U.S. Immigration

and Naturalization Service

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