Response to John Peschong’s Viewpoint on July 12 (“‘Sanctuary city’ policies are unsafe for U.S. citizens”):
Why are illegal Latin American drug felons roaming the streets of this country? Is our government culpable? In 1985, Associated Press journalists Robert Parry and Brian Barger found that Contra groups under the auspices of the CIA had “engaged in cocaine trafficking, in part to help finance their war against Nicaragua.”
The Reagan White House launched a concerted behind-the-scenes campaign to besmirch the professionalism of Parry and Barger and to discredit all reporting on the contras and drugs.
A Senate subcommittee investigated the AP’s findings and released a report on covert U.S. operations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. It found “considerable evidence” that the Contras were linked to running drugs and guns and that the U.S. government knew about it.
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In 1998, CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz detailed how the Reagan administration had protected these drug/gun operations and frustrated federal investigations.
A Reagan legacy of those actions has created a drug cartel importing illegal drug criminals. A continued breakdown in governance by the present Republican Congress leaves nothing done.
“Sanctuary city” policies to protect against illegal actions by ICE in detaining noncriminal suspects, albeit not perfect, cannot be held solely responsible for a broken federal immigration system and public safety.