YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Protest Over Arrests at Border

June 21, 2003

Re "Immigrants Find Power in Protest," June 16: It was both heartbreaking and infuriating to read about Border Patrol agents detaining Aurelia Navarro Monroy on Easter Sunday as she walked home from the mission in San Juan Capistrano.

The Border Patrol denies that it has targeted the immigrant community in the historic Los Rios district, despite reports of harassment and detainment of other immigrants, both documented and undocumented.

Now that immigration is officially under the jurisdiction of the Office of Homeland Security, ostensibly the Border Patrol is to be protecting the country by guarding against potential terrorist infiltration. What possible threat can be posed by a woman walking home from church, mothers taking their children to school, women doing loads of wash at the local laundromat? What purpose does it serve to allow Border Patrol agents to intimidate, terrorize and disrupt the lives of people who are simply going about the tasks of daily life?

A despicable (and criminal) injustice is being committed in this country each time men, women and children are singled out and detained simply because their skin is brown and they speak Spanish.

Kristen L. Merrell



If Monroy is in this country now with three U.S.-born children [one of whom is 10], then she has not been "waiting for seven years for immigration officials to process her application for permanent residence." She has probably been hiding illegally in this country for at least some of that time, after having sneaked in, waiting to become eligible for permanent residency, based on an application submitted by her spouse, for which there is indeed a seven-year wait before she becomes eligible to apply.

There is a huge difference between the two that the average reader does not know about. Your article is slanted to ridiculous extremes. Should the Border Patrol be concerned with her and check on her status? What exactly is its job, then?

By this kind of biased, uninformed journalism, The Times contributes as much to foreigners living illegally and carefree in Southern California as the coyotes who bring them in.

Russ Wilson

San Diego


The way I see it, if you break the law, no matter who you are, you can be arrested. If you are in this country illegally, then you have broken a law and shouldn't be surprised when you are arrested. The way to avoid this is to apply for legal status, no matter how long it takes.

I cannot give any sympathy to people who knowingly come into this country illegally and then cry because they are arrested.

Marilyn Beeson


Los Angeles Times Articles