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Opinion: Why shield ‘criminal’ illegal immigrants from law enforcement?

Bianca Salgado,left, and Leticia Zelaya are holding out hope that their granddaughter and niece Mayra Machado,31, will get released from an immigration detention in Louisiana where she's been held for about a year.
Bianca Salgado,left, and Leticia Zelaya are holding out hope that their granddaughter and niece Mayra Machado,31, will get released from an immigration detention in Louisiana where she’s been held for about a year.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Perhaps coming from countries that have high corruption rates distorts the illegal immigrants’ views on what is acceptable in our society. However, sneaking into a country, overstaying a visa, committing forgery or identity theft, using false documents, conducting a business without a license and not paying income taxes are all illegal activities. (“Immigrants fear that definition of ‘criminal’ will be stretched under Trump,” Nov. 26)

Perpetrators try to justify themselves by saying they are doing it so they can work, but then they send billions of dollars a year to their home countries. How can people so easily dismiss their acts by saying no one is hurt by their illegal activities?

No matter how noble the intent, the end doesn’t justify the means and I truly don’t understand why everyone is so determined to shield illegal immigrants from our laws. Committing crimes is not normal in our society, and illegal immigrants shouldn’t be a protected class. They are abusing our taxpayers.

Jan MacMichael, South Pasadena

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To the editor: I wept for Mayra Machado, a woman who was brought to the United States as a five-year-old and committed check forgery at the age of 18. She was punished and lived a crime-free life for 12 years, becoming a mother and a productive employee.

But a traffic stop upended her life, along with her children’s, and she was put into detention a year ago.

My mother was also victimized by a check forger as she sank into dementia, but law enforcement refused to follow up or press charges when contacted. Our legal system refused to pursue this all-American predator of an old woman but ruined Machado’s life and those of her children for a lesser crime.

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Michele Zack, Altadena

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