Chris Powell: ICE's bizarre refusal; 'radical forgiveness'

  Connecticut has a failure of immigration-law enforcement just as big as the recent one in San Francisco, although its location -- Norwich -- hasn't been glamorous enough to gain similar attention, despite outstanding journalism by the local newspaper, the Bulletin.

In San Francisco an illegal alien and repeat felon who has been deported from the United States many times has been charged with shooting a young woman to death on a tourist pier. Before the murder city police were holding the illegal alien on other charges, and federal immigration authorities had asked to be informed of his release so they could collect him. But San Francisco is a "sanctuary city" whose political correctness obstructs immigration-law enforcement. So the Feds were not notified and the illegal alien was not deported again as he should have been.

In Norwich an illegal alien who had just been released from prison after serving 17 years in prison for attempted murder in that city was charged there again last month with the murder of a young woman in her apartment. While Connecticut has declared itself a "sanctuary state," its obstruction of immigration-law enforcement does not go as far as San Francisco's.

At least Connecticut will cooperate with federal immigration authorities for the deportation of felons, and the state apparently notified the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office of this illegal alien's imminent release.

But ICE did nothing about it, and the agency's explanation is contemptible. That is, ICE claims that, upon his release from prison, it couldn't deport the illegal alien now charged with the Norwich murder because he would not produce any documents associating him with his native country, Haiti. So having attempted murder once already in Norwich, this illegal alien was simply set free and ICE forgot about him. Now he is charged with murder itself.

If ICE maintains its excuse -- that illegal aliens can't be deported unless they cooperate by producing adequate documentation -- then every illegal alien in the country can gain permanent residency here simply by destroying his documents.

Norwich's U.S. representative, Joseph D. Courtney, is pressing ICE for a better explanation. He should be joined by the rest of Connecticut's congressional delegation, the state's news organizations, and all concerned citizens. Even in politically correct Connecticut an innocent life must be worth more than this.


In a recent letter to the editor a reader from Tolland scolded this writer's June 29 column for not having been impressed by the forgiveness given the racist mass murderer in Charleston by the survivors of his victims. "Powell apparently knows little about the teachings of the New Testament," the reader wrote, adding: "Radical forgiveness, even of one's worst enemies, is the way of the cross."

But one can be familiar with the New Testament and willing to let people follow "radical forgiveness" and the way of the cross i their personal lives and still maintain that these things can be contrary to national survival -- and national survival was the point of that column, national survival as sustained by the astounding loyalty of black people to their country despite centuries of abuse, abuse that continued with the mas murder in Charleston.

People can make of forgiveness whatever they will in their personal lives, as a matter of religion, as a psychology of life, or whatever. That won't harm anyone else. But a nation is infinitely bigger than that; it is a collective for which responsibility is shared, and all who are part of it will share its fate.

If one believes that this country, more than any other, aspires to uphold individual liberty within democracy and is, more than any other, the universal nation, then any subversion of it, such as an attempt to terrorize one of its components and start a race war, is the worst treason and, in the national sense, must never be forgiven.

Chris Powell is managing editor of the Journal Inquirer, in Manchester, Conn.