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Opinion >  Letters

Border agents fulfilled duty

I applaud the Spokesman for writing an article with all the facts of this case (Jan. 27, “Comedian Mohanad Elshieky says he was accosted by Border Patrol agents at Spokane bus station”). Here are my two cents.

Federal authority at our Intermodal Center between the City Council, the mayor and federal law is a complex legal and philosophical battle. The debate is essentially about the ability of a local government to constrain federal officials’ responsibility to protect the rest of the country. Until the debate is resolved, immigrants, asylum seekers and Border Patrol should follow established federal law.

I congratulate and welcome Mr. Elshieky for legally achieving asylum status. I appreciate our Border Patrol agents. They carried out their responsibility under federal authority. I am disappointed in elected officials who sensationalized this incident.

Mr. Elshieky’s award of asylum comes with responsibilities. He did not have required documentation of his status. I am impressed the Border Patrol worked around his negligence. Within 20 minutes, they confirmed the legal status and bona fides of a person from Benghazi, Libya. I am glad border agents exercised due diligence given Americans were murdered by factions in Benghazi.

A House of Representatives member immediately used this incident as evidence to abolish ICE. She showed disturbing ignorance that ICE played no part in this. Kate Burke undermined our law enforcement professionals by immediately apologizing to Mr. Elshieky. Irresponsible, uninformed actions by both.

Steve J. Blaska



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