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Dragnets Directed at Illegal Immigrants

June 15, 2004

Re "Immigration Arrests Not Policy Shift," June 11: We should all be alarmed by federal agents' sweeps of our communities in search of undocumented persons. These dragnets make a mockery of fundamental constitutional rights. Racial profiling has supplanted the requirement that an officer have probable cause to believe that a suspect has committed a crime.

Trolling our neighborhoods for illegal immigrants does not protect us from robberies, shootings, drug dealing or other crimes. No useful law enforcement purpose is served by targeting hardworking young immigrants struggling to feed their families. Reports of agents separating children and parents are shocking. This misguided program of the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection should be terminated immediately because it squanders tax dollars and has no place in a democracy built by immigrants.

Evan A. Jenness

Deputy Federal Public

Defender, Los Angeles

Javier Palos, "an illegal immigrant house painter," is quoted as saying: "They're Border Patrol. What are they doing here?" I have a question for Palos. You are an illegal immigrant. What are you doing here?

Rick Livingood

Simi Valley

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