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Raid on Church Underscores Intrusiveness of INS Actions

October 09, 1988

As we awoke to the news of Immigration and Naturalization Service staff persons bursting in on an early morning Mass while pursuing a couple of suspects, and using the opportunity to check the identification papers of other parishioners, my husband said, "Ye gods, it's like Hitler's storm troopers!"

I understand there is no law prohibiting entry into a church. But doesn't the INS have enough undocumented people to round up who are bodily outside of churches, let alone a church building housing a Mass in progress? Indeed, for all the fuss Orange city representatives and the INS make over these dayworkers, you would think they were four deep on the curb along the whole stretch of Chapman Avenue.

Well, they're not. For most of the day they're pulling our weeds, picking up our trash, laying yet another sprinkler line to keep our greenbelts green or tacking up the drywall that will make our new home cozy. But we don't want to have to look upon the people we are only too happy to have roofing our new homes.

And on that note, if anyone knows where to find several hundred bona fide American citizens with all their papers in order who are just dying to get paid $4 or $5 an hour to grade dirt for back-yard patios, I know of a few dozen construction contractors who would be glad to talk to you.

PRISCILLA MAYFIELD

Orange

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