July 21, 2008

We the People - ICE-y reception

ICE-y reception

Dear Editor:

Again ICE showed this week its unwillingness to enforce the law. The same Chicago Church (United Methodist) that gave the infamous Elvira Arellano and her U.S. born son ‘sanctuary,’ in defiance of U.S. Immigration laws, is now giving ‘sanctuary’ to another customer: Flor Crisostomo, who is using the church as a base to champion immigration reform. After more than a year of sanctuary, Arellano was finally arrested and deported after she left the Church to travel to a rally in L.A. Both Arellano and Crisostomo had been ordered deported to Mexico by federal immigration officials before seeking sanctuary in the church. Both the United Methodist and the Catholic Church are known for continuously violating U.S. Immigration laws with impunity by aiding and abetting illegal aliens. Churches are not above the law, they are not embassies or consulates, and cannot legally provide sanctuary to anyone. Julie Myers, assistant secretary of Homeland Security for ICE, arrogantly stated: “Our agency takes enforcement actions when we deem it appropriate,” basically saying: “TO H..” with the law. According to Doris Meissner, a former commissioner at the I.N.S. the agency overseeing immigration until the Department of Homeland Security was formed in 2003, stated that, “avoiding churches is unofficial policy for federal immigration officials.” Since the 1970’s, the unwritten rule has been “no churches, playground or schools.” She obviously forgot to mention the day labor sites where illegal aliens and their prospective employers can be scooped-up with a front end loader six days a week. ICE operations are apparently guided by unwritten rules and unofficial policies and not by established laws. Our country is supposedly a nation of laws and not a nation of unwritten rules and unofficial policies. As such, ICE officials are derelict in the exercise of their duty to enforce the law. It is quite clear that ICE has no intention to go relentlessly after employers of illegal aliens (as they claim they do), and churches aiding and abetting them. It is time to hold these employers and the responsible church officials accountable for their actions, by arresting and prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law. Furthermore, churches that violate our immigration laws should automatically lose their tax exempt status. It is useless to have laws if we apparently have no intention to enforce them.

A. N. M. Geldens


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