County jail officers shouldn’t assist immigration officials

The recent editorial, “Murphy-Grewal immigration politics puts public at risk,” revealed many common myths and sought to justify an anti-immigrant agenda that promotes the fallacy that public safety is protected by misguided police and law enforcement collusion with federal immigration agencies. By defending the 287(g) program, the editorial is perpetuating misunderstandings about a program that is designed to move limited immigration processing to local and county law enforcement officers who should be concerned only with the criminal system, not the immigration system. There is only one thing the editorial pointed out correctly, which is 287(g) is a free federal training program. Nothing else is free and nothing is free of harm.

Flawed as it may be, the criminal legal system is set up to charge, prosecute and determine punishments for people convicted of crimes. As has been well documented in study after study, a person’s immigration status has no relation to their propensity to commit crimes. Highlighting just a few immigrants with criminal charges and mentioning charges involving children does not mean that the public is safer, it only perpetuates the bias towards immigrants.

Participating in immigration enforcement or assisting in deportation is not the job of local law enforcement agencies. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal’s Trust Directive successfully draws that line and defines this better.

Instead of training correctional officers to assist in enforcing immigration law, Sheriffs Nolan and Golden should create programs that build trust with the immigrant communities and communities of color, and engage in programs that actually decrease crimes in their respective counties overall.

Georgina Shanley

Ocean City

Chia-Chia Wang

Richmond Hill, New York

Asia religions exempt from church-state separation?

Regarding the recent story, “Oakcrest Teen Center brings mental health component to freshman summer program”:

This article on mindfulness is the perfect example of parents being uninformed about a program that is primarily based in Buddhism and Zen. Hairs could be split as to whether either one is an actual religion, but the public opinion would state that they are. Positive results don’t make the whole process right.

If there were equally positive results based on Judaism and Christianity, the program would be immediately shut down under the false narrative of separation of church and state. So that begs the question. How can a program that is obviously based in Buddhism, Zen and Taoism be practiced freely in the school district?

Barry Caraway

Mays Landing

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