The Baltimore Sun

Arrests violate immigrants' rights

Evidence that senior staff at Immigrations and Customs Enforcement pressured Baltimore agents to meet arbitrary quotas by arresting Latino immigrants adds a disturbing twist to an already shameful incident ("Immigration official told deputy to 'make more arrests,' ICE report says," Feb. 19).

It is encouraging that the Department of Homeland Security has referred this issue for further investigation. DHS consistently asserts that its role is to ensure the rule of law. But this position is not credible if DHS officers are being pushed by senior staff to arrest individuals in violation of their civil and human rights.

Once DHS completes its investigation, the Department of Justice should review the results and, if wrongdoing is found, prosecute ICE officials who encouraged arrests based on quotas.

Folabi Olagbaju, Washington

The writer is Mid-Atlantic regional director for Amnesty International USA.

Passing a stimulus is still a victory

In his column "Counting the costs" (Commentary, Feb. 19), Philip I. Levy of the conservative American Enterprise Institute points out that no one is really happy with the stimulus package.

Not pure Keynesian economists, or the "Cost-Benefit Covey" (to which Mr. Levy relates), or the "Animal Spiritualists" who trust in market psychology, or even our international allies can look at this package without finding something to dislike.

Mr. Levy concludes that "President Obama got the stimulus plan he wanted." I think it would be more accurate to say that the Mr. Obama got the best plan he could get.

Rather than being bound by pure ideology and party, the president negotiated among interests in both parties to get the plan he could get.

Instead of condemning the president for not achieving perfection, we should applaud him for getting something done.

Mac Nachlas, Baltimore

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