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We need answers

EDITORIAL

The illegal immigration “crisis” has the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) so busy, they can’t tell the public what’s going on.Today, we ran a story about new immigration enforcement bills without a comment from ICE, the branch of the Department of Homeland Security in charge of working with local law officers to process illegal immigrants. Seem strange? It’s not as if we didn’t try.First, on Wednesday, reporter Duffy Hayes called the Department of Homeland Security in Washington D.C., and they sent him to an ICE regional office in Montana. The Montana office then sent him to Denver. Turns out, we weren’t even close.Denver’s branch of ICE, without a public information officer, said they couldn’t speak on the subject. They sent Duffy to another regional office in Dallas, Texas, where Carl Rusnok finally answered the phone.”I’m on deadline,” he said. “I’m really busy.” Click.Then, on Thursday, both Duffy and editor Ryan Slabaugh called Mr. Rusnok. Again, “I’m on the other line. I’ll call you back.”Nothing.It’s not as if we’re alone. Sheriff John Minor – who shared the same questions on how these bills will affect his staff – also couldn’t get a straight answer – and one of the bills mandates that his department work closely withICE. He was hoping we could get through.Nope.It’s hard to believe that ICE doesn’t feel public information is important. The questions we were asking are, without answers, frightening. (Do you have the resources to handle the additional load? Where will our arrested illegal immigrants be going?)Immigration is already at the forefront of public conversation, and enforcement is under heavy scrutiny. Without an agency to answer pressing questions, and deliver timely information, the connection between public and government is lost.Having our local illegal immigrant enforcement information be communicated – or not – from an office in Dallas, Texas, is both unacceptable, scary and ultimately useless. Perhaps they can answer this simple question: Is there anyone home?


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