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Failing to arrest Nazi war criminals is no excuse for not enforcing immigration law today

Failing to arrest Nazi war criminals is no excuse for not enforcing immigration law today
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrest a foreign national in Los Angeles on Feb. 7, 2017. (Charles Reed / Associated Press)

To the editor: Jared McBride notes that U.S. immigration authorities after World War II allowed war criminals to "sneak" into the country. ("The next time ICE rounds up workers, remember that we didn't do the same with Nazi-era war criminals," Opinion, Feb. 4)

He effectively makes President Trump's argument against chain immigration and the visa lottery when he writes, "Most came through the system undetected amid an influx of nearly 400,000 war-displaced persons." He said it was too easy for people to "cover up their backgrounds on their immigration forms."

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A large majority of Americans want to stop criminals from entering our country, and evict those here illegally. The only way to accomplish this is to change the system and know who we allow to enter and how they will benefit the economy.

By arresting and deporting unauthorized immigrants, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are simply doing their job, regardless of what administration the person arrived under.

Alan L. Strzemieczny, Riverside

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To the editor: McBride certainly emphasizes the importance of vetting immigrants. He shames post-World War II immigration officials for not dealing with war criminal immigrants as a basis to vilify the current procedures.

Our whole country rallied, and everyone sacrificed to support the war effort. Forgive us for not tracking down every last war villain who immigrated to the U.S. under false pretense while we focused on putting our country back together after burying nearly a half a million of our own.

We weren't perfect in the past, but that does not mean we shouldn't do our best now. Yes, it is a shame when undocumented immigrants who have built their lives on false hopes and shoddy foundations are deported — but it shouldn't come as a surprise.

Jan MacMichael, South Pasadena

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