It is stunning to see the amount of misinformation and confusion surrounding the presence of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Portland. It led to a protest last Oct. 14 in which protesters were chanting “Shut it down” and “Abolish ICE.”

More recently, a letter writer (Mary Dunn) totally mischaracterized ICE’s role and its performance and achievements, and misquoted Matthew T. Albence, acting director of ICE, when she says Mr. Albence was appalled and perplexed “to see protests outside a new Portland ICE office” (“ICE director’s comments inflammatory, perplexing,” Jan. 27).

What Albence was appalled at, as he said in the referenced op-ed, was the “misinformation relayed in recent protests” (“Acting director: ICE is here to uphold the law, protect the community,” Jan. 16). The “misinformation” has to do with ICE’s mission and performance.

Its mission, stated in their “2019 Enforcement and Removal Operations Report,” is “the identification, arrest, and removal of aliens who present a danger to national security or a threat to public safety.”

They target criminals. The ICE report goes on: “Interior removals are those initially arrested by ICE who were subsequently removed by ERO. In FY 2019, the overwhelming majority (91 percent) had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges at the time of arrest.”

Let me emphasize: Ninety-one percent are criminals, and not the “people who grow and harvest our food,” as asserted by the letter writer.

ICE makes our communities safer; we should be supporting ICE, not denigrating it!

Bob Casimiro

executive director, Mainers for Responsible Immigration

Bridgton

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