It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an editorial as poorly informed as the Oct. 17 “Our View: Border Patrol threatens rights as it creeps inland.”

The writer attacks the officers of the U.S. Border Patrol for … well, patroling the border. Guess what – that’s their job!

A relevant Congressional Research Service report notes: “Section 287 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) expressly confers upon immigration officers broad powers to question and detain individuals without warrant either at the border or in the interior of the United States. For example, immigration officers may, without warrant, interrogate aliens about their right to be within the United States.

“They may also conduct some searches without a warrant. The INA expressly authorizes immigration officers, within ‘a reasonable distance’ from the external boundary of the United States, to search any land-based vehicle or conveyance, and any vessel within U.S. territorial waters.”

The rabid editorial headline is repeatedly undercut by the editorial itself, to wit:

• The authority for Border Patrol to operate up to 100 miles inland from a U.S. border was established in 1953. That limit has never changed, so there’s no “creep.”

No evidence is presented that “American citizens are caught in the crossfire.” Huh? What crossfire? The supposedly awful example cited by the editorial is a roadblock in New Hampshire where Border Patrol officers detained 25 illegal aliens. Again – that’s their job.

More oversight? Fine. Don’t like the law? Change it. Don’t like how laxly your congressional representatives exercise their oversight? Fine. Change them, too.

But suggesting that the men and women who protect our national borders are somehow out of control for simply doing their congressionally mandated jobs – especially since Sept. 11, 2001 – is an uninformed and disrespectful assertion.

Chet Lunner

Cape Elizabeth