Sen. Alan Cranston on Friday called for the dismissal of Harold Ezell, director of the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s Western Region, citing what he called Ezell’s “offensive and inflammatory statements” against Latinos seeking amnesty under the new immigration law.
“Mr. Ezell does not have the judgment and ability to oversee the enforcement of immigration laws in California,” the Democrat said in a letter to President Reagan dated Friday.
Ezell was traveling out of the country Friday and could not be reached for comment. INS Western Region spokesman John Belluardo declined immediate comment.
Cranston said he took the action at the urging of a coalition of California minority and ethnic groups. He cited several comments allegedly made by Ezell. In one, Ezell purportedly said of illegal aliens, “If you catch ‘em, you ought to clean ‘em and fry ‘em yourself.” INS officials had said Ezell was speaking about criminals who traffic in fraudulent documents.
And, Ezell said in reference to infants born to Mexican women who enter the United States to give birth to gain U.S. citizenship for their babies, “They ought to wrap them in swaddling clothes and send them back to where they came from.”
Cranston, in his letter to the President, said, “Taken together, these statements reflect a callous, insensitive, and prejudicial attitude.”
He said he feared the statements would discourage illegal aliens from coming forward and seeking temporary resident alien status under the amnesty provisions of the reform act.