Dear Editor:

Zach Taylor's July 8 "Keeping you in the loop" edition of his Immigration Matters column in the Grant County Beat requires rebuttal.

I understand Mr. Taylor is a retired Border Patrol officer. I thank him for his service to our country in that capacity. However, I think columns like this are a disservice to the cause of civil and enlightened commentary of public matters.

His ending statement is perhaps the one I agree with most: "Of course that view depends on the objectivity of the reporter as much as anything else these days."

Mr. Taylor precedes that conclusion with a series of fact-free assertions and biased conclusions that appear to have been taken directly from President Trump's hate- and fear-mongering anti-immigrant campaign platform.

It is, of course, an opinion column and he's welcome to his own view ... but not to his own facts.

"MS-13 inside the United States poses an immediate direct threat to almost anyone inside the United States." The population of the U.S. is currently about 326 million people. Estimates of MS-13 numbers generally round out at 10,000 (http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2018/may/15/donald-trump/donald-trump-exaggerates-number-ms-13-gang-members/ is one source among many).

Really? Are 10,000 gang members a "direct threat" to 326,000,000 others? Only in the Trump campaign to paint every immigrant as a gang member lurking in our back yard!

"Moreover, the DACA process is Amnesty and all DACA registrants are not lovely people.
DACA is also a cover for criminal activity. MS-13 did not come here to attend college or convert to Christianity."

Wow! What a mishmash of fear-mongering slurs and slams, implying without out-and-out saying it that Dreamers (DACA) are MS-13, out to cut our throats in a dark alley.

Let's start with the direct MS-13 statement. He gives no facts, but I'll grant the comment about gang members probably not coming to attend college. But what has this to do with their converting to Christianity? Their behavior is decidedly unChristian, but most of them are probably nominal Evangelicals or Catholics already (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/04/08/christianity-is-growing-rapidly-in-el-salvador-along-with-gang-violence-and-murder-rates/?utm_term=.8a0ec69547d5). A red herring.

Mr. Taylor says "all DACA registrants are not lovely people." Of course not - you only have to find one bad apple among the 800,000 certified Dreamers (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/02/13/who-daca-dreamers-and-how-many-here/333045002/) to make that totally biased statement true.

What if I said "all retired Border Patrol agents are not lovely people?" I have no doubt that the statement is true, but it is an unfair slur on all the retired agents who ARE lovely people, just as is true with the Dreamers! Mr. Taylor's statement also ignores the fact that Dreamers are required to demonstrate good moral character and pass criminal background checks and reviews before being accorded conditional resident status under DACA (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DREAM_Act#For_conditional_resident_status).

And then there's the "amnesty" reference - another hot-button word in the anti-immigrant campaign that Mr. Taylor appears to be part of.

"Amnesty: 1.
an official pardon for people who have been convicted of political offenses." (https://www.google.com/search?q=amnesty+definition&oq=Amnesty&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l5.5492j0j1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 )

By definition, the Dreamers all came to the U.S. with family members when they were under the age of 16. In many instances, they were 2, or 3, or 6. What "political offense" or crime were these children personally committing? Loving their parents?

"Theory and opinion usually fade away when they collide with reality. Decisions based on emotion are usually poor decisions."

"Keeping you in the loop" is an excellent example of this statement! It's a free association of biased opinions and foregone conclusions that don't square with the facts in the real world. It is of a kind with the monstrous debacle the Trump administration has caused with its policy decision to separate children from their parents at the border ... a decision based on an animus toward the immigrants that has collided with the reality of inadequate planning, inadequate logistics, inadequate staffing - and the ongoing anguish of children who believe they have been abandoned.

"Immigration Matters" is, I understand, a personal platform from which Mr. Taylor can express his views. Thank goodness he has that right in our country!

Thank goodness, too, that others have the right to call those views into question!

Sincerely,

Tom Vaughan

Silver City