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Dear Editor:

I'm writing to say that I appreciate the editor's comments in the 4/3/02 edition of the "Daily". As a retired BP (Border Patrol) Agent and a present union representative for the NBPC (National Border Patrol Council), I believe that my views are quite different from those of your organization, but I appreciate your willingness to allow the "other side" to speak.

I certainly won't defend INS management, but they don't deserve all the blame for the mess at INS. Their biggest fault, as a group, is that they lack courage. For at least the 41 years since I joined the BP, they have done exactly what Congress and the administration wanted. They knew there were problems, and they probably knew what should be done to fix them; they just didn't have the will to tell their political bosses. (At INS, you're not a "team player" if you call attention to a problem.) As you and Mr. Jose Latour have noted, the employees at INS who actually provide services, do inspections, enforce the laws, etc., are willing to do the job. But the higher up the "food chain" you go, the more politicized the process becomes and the less reality is involved.

I would humbly disagree with the editor on a couple points. First, I would not "continue to welcome" as many immigrants as we do at present. Second, it seems to me that "the problem" is exactly one of "immigration enforcement and policy". If, after a national debate, the "policy" is to admit more or fewer immigrants, that policy should be "enforced". INS, with proper oversight, should be given the mandate and resources to provide the necessary services and to enforce the laws.

John H. Frecker
Baileyville, ME
BP (ret.)