Letters to the Editor

Letters for October 25, 2001

 Sold out: As a former immigration inspector at Miami International Airport, I agree with Jose Touron's assessment of the persistent problems that plague the INS ("Admitting Terror," Bob Norman, October 18). The INS is an agency that is doomed to fail. The organizational structure of the service is rife with nepotism, corruption, and incompetence. Your article quoted Walter Cadman, head of INS's anti-terrorism effort. This is the same Walter Cadman who in 1995, as INS district director for Florida, was instrumental in attempting to deceive a congressional delegation headed by Rep. Elton Gallegly of California. The Kromegate deception, as it became known, was spearheaded in an almost conspiratorial fashion by Mr. Cadman. Your article also quoted Dora Sanchez, a former port director for INS at MIA. Ms. Sanchez was one of the most horrible administrators that MIA had ever seen. She was removed from her position in typical INS style -- she was promoted.

INS gave up safeguarding America's borders a long time ago. The institutional paralysis that plagues the INS may be partly responsible for the September 11 tragedy. The INS rank-and-file are hard-working, conscientious people who care about their jobs and their country. Unfortunately INS management has sold them out for 30 pieces of silver. I still have many friends who work as inspectors at MIA and at other ports of entry around the country. They will continue to complete their tasks diligently, and perhaps now the INS will allow them to actually protect our borders. It is lamentable that in America people had to die tragically for this to happen.

Marco Fernandez
Laredo, Texas

Hurrah for Jose: In response to Bob Norman's article "Admitting Terror," I am a former immigration detention enforcement officer who was assigned to Miami International Airport from 1996 through 1998. I was a shop steward with the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1453. I did represent Mr. Jose Touron on one occasion in an official capacity; in 1998 he was the only immigration inspector to challenge his immediate inspections supervisors, who had ordered him to pass people who had been questioned and detained. Mr. Touron was doing his duty as a law enforcement officer with the immigration service. However his superiors (e.g., the assistant port director) ordered him to move as quickly as possible without properly questioning people.

What is so shocking is that Mr. Touron was doing his job and that the immigration service administrators at Miami Airport ordered him not to. What is also shocking is that now, after Americans are dead, many inspectors still have not come forward. Even the union's president, Mr. William King, stated that he too knew about these orders but never made any official complaint. He has admitted it too late -- our own are dead.

Honors should go to Touron for doing what was right. I know that he can sleep at night knowing he fought to do his official duties. As for the rest of those inspectors, shame on them. Monday-morning quarterbacking does not change the fact that Americans died because some people did not have the guts to challenge what was wrong. Again, Mr. Jose Touron has guts, integrity, loyalty, and professionalism. Shame on those who hid the facts or had no guts to tell the truth.

Antonio Aquino
Circle Oviedo, Florida

Hatred and Perseverance: In regard to Adam Pitluk's September 6 story, "The Heart of Whiteness," first of all, shalom and shavuah tov. Second of all, why do people hate minorities? Is it jealousy? Or a personal event? Don't these people believe that Jesus said to love thy neighbor as thyself? Why are these people allowed to spread propaganda? This is sickening. Blacks and Hispanics and Jews don't spread their propaganda. This is truly sickening. I'm surprised [Pitluk] made it out of there alive.

Erez Talshahar
Orlando

 
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