The Academy Award for most dramatic performance in a non-news story goes to Peter Homer for his portrayal of an oppressed citizen.

As reported in a Jan. 27 front-page story in this paper (“Passenger ID checks making U.S. ‘police state’ “), Mr. Homer was about to board a bus in Bangor when he was asked by Border Patrol agents a simple question that he answered with a one-syllable response. Mr. Homer then continued his journey uninterrupted. This interaction probably took all of six seconds.

However, Mr. Homer, apparently dissatisfied with enforcement of current immigration laws, immediately ran to the American Civil Liberties Union, which is always itching for a fight with the government.

The award for winning performance was due in great part to Mr. Homer’s rationale for running to the ACLU. He is quoted in the article as saying, “It’s sad to me that our country has turned into a police state where its citizens aren’t allowed to freely move around.”

I had to read the article a second time, as I didn’t recall the freedom to move around of Mr. Homer – or any other citizen, for that matter – hindered at all that day. He was neither searched, screened nor made to provide any documents but was merely asked a simple question.

Recognize it or not, illegal immigration is a problem and a crime in this country. I frankly feel better knowing law enforcement is doing what we expect of them. To describe his encounter in the manner he did was disingenuous at best and ridiculous at worst. Mr. Homer should be pleased he lives in a country that does allow freedom of movement for its citizens, with an expectation of enforcement for those who are not.

Steven Edmondson

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