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Clallam Democrats join Jefferson party to seek hiatus in Border Patrol activity

The Clallam County Democratic Central Committee on March 21 adopted unanimously the same resolution that Jefferson County's Democrats drafted regarding the Border Patrol, according to Clallam County Democratic Party Chairman John Marrs.

The Jefferson County Democrats now plan to take the resolution before the state Democratic Central Committee in Tacoma on April 25, according to Teri Nomura, chairwoman of Jefferson Democrats.

Clallam County members also will attend that meeting.

The text of the resolution follows. It does not imply an endorsement by the Sequim Gazette.

To the Honorable Barack Obama, president of the United States, and to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and to the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, in Congress assembled, and to the Honorable Christine Gregoire, governor of the state of Washington, and to the Senate and House of Representatives of the state of Washington, and to the Honorable Janet Napolitano, secretary of Homeland Security:

WHEREAS there has been an expansion of mission, facilities and personnel of the U.S. Border Patrol under the Department of Homeland Security in Jefferson County and the Olympic Peninsula with growth from four Border Patrol agents in 2006 to 25 Border Patrol agents today with projected growth to 125 agents; and

WHEREAS this expansion comes at a time when basic government services such as K-12 education have been cut, long-term local public employees laid off, best practices abandoned for lack of funds, and local officials, the U.S Attorney and the FBI have expressed budgetary concerns, as reported in statewide newspapers; and

WHEREAS the U.S. Border Patrol is placing random checkpoints on highways

away from the border in the interior of the Olympic Peninsula, is conducting internal patrols within our communities, and plans a large new facility on the Olympic Peninsula which by multiple accounts will include a detention facility; and

WHEREAS the location of checkpoints and frequency of stops raises concerns about racial profiling; and

WHEREAS ordinary crime control is the responsibility of our local law enforcement agencies and Border Patrol intrusion into their jurisdictions hampers community policing strategies that build long-term relationships of trust and accountability; and

WHEREAS judicial precedent raises questions about the legality of the current program by stating that checkpoints must have an actual connection with substantial traffic from a proximate border and are not to be used for ordinary crime control purposes.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we, the Clallam County Democratic Central Committee of Washington State, call for a suspension of expanded Border Patrol activity away from the border until the utility, legality and constitutionality of this expansion has been determined by the Congress and the courts; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that during this suspension, we call for an evaluation of the utility of the current expansion of mission, facilities and personnel of the U.S. Border Patrol on the Olympic Peninsula, and an evaluation of the opportunity costs of this federal expenditure while core government services are cut for lack of funding; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call on our local law enforcement officers to continue to uphold their sworn oath to protect the rights and liberties of the members of our community; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we urge our elected representatives to foster a reformed approach toward securing our border which focuses on interdiction at the border, preserves constitutional protections and respects local law enforcement.

Signed,

John M. Marrs, chair, Clallam County Democratic Central Committee; Sylvia Hancock, vice chair; Julie John-son, state committeewoman; Earl Archer, state committeeman; and the following Clallam County Precinct Committee Officers: Gerald Ulrich, Bill Lowman, Hank Warren, Anna Barrigan, Steve Tharinger, Bill Kildall, Terry Coe, Ida Fintel, Genaveve Starr, Nancy Messmer, Ron Richards, Kris Grier, Rick Gibbs, Doug Lewis, and Ray Halstead.

Passed March 21, 2009.





Democratic Club to host Border Patrol agent

Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Chris Dyer will be the guest speaker at the 7 p.m. April 8 meeting of the Clallam County Democratic Club.

Dyer's presentation focuses on the history of the Border Patrol on the national level, its strategy and specifics regarding its presence on the Olympic Peninsula.

The meeting will be held at Pioneer Memorial Park Clubhouse, 387 E. Washington St., Sequim. A question and answer period follows the talk.

Nonperishable food items will be accepted for the Sequim Food Bank.

Call 683-4502.

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