Sheriff’s immigration stance provokes responses


I read Sheriff Mike Chitwood’s op-ed (" ‘Sanctuary cities’ bill would threaten public safety," Feb. 11) and I strongly disagree. If the Legislature listens to him, it will endanger citizens of Volusia County and Florida.

The Legislature is not discussing laws to restrict legal immigrants, but to restrict cities from immorally and unethically protecting those who are here illegally. They should not be protected. There is no moral equivalence between those here legally and those here illegally.

Illegal aliens operate outside the laws because they have to. Whether it’s here, Israel, Afghanistan or South America, the effect is the same. How do I know? As a 30-year active-duty U.S. Army veteran, I’ve earned a master's degree in national security. I have studied, observed and understand the dangers of illegal immigration and corruption and its corrosive effects on communities where it flourishes. I would hope Chitwood would take a larger view than resourcing or local engagement.

As a combat veteran, I also defended our freedoms and our way of life in other parts of the world. I’ve served in countries where people ignored the laws of their own land. It is corrosive and infectious. We should not tolerate that here. We are either a nation of laws or we will become a corrupt society as more and more people see they can ignore the law.

Criminals are the real danger to the citizens of Volusia County and Florida. Those Chitwood calls the “marginalized” aren’t the terrorists. Street-level drug dealers, organized crime, or “wannabe” gang members are many times illegally present. Cash is king and they can’t hold regular employment. Even if Chitwood disagrees with that, remember that illegals’ very first act — entering the country — is to break our immigration laws. Does he really think they will become honest and law-abiding once they are living here? We should not give them sanctuary.

There must be consequences for illegal activities, whether it be speeding, theft or illegally crossing our borders. Volusia County needs its sheriff to lead those efforts, not defend illegal alients. If someone is here illegally, I agree, they should get due process — but not a free pass from local law enforcement. Otherwise, “law enforcement” might become an oxymoron.

While Chitwood and I disagree on this subject, I do thank him for his service to Volusia County. He has a great department with superb officers. I appreciate their work!

Bob Hoelscher




Thoughtful approach

Thanks to Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood for a well-reasoned, thoughtful response to the demagogic presentations of the status of immigrants in the society. President Donald Trump and the speaker of the Florida House present simple, negative images that ignore the complexity of the concerns involved and the need for actions that instill respect and cooperation among immigrant societies.

Humane treatment and actions instilling cooperation among immigrant communities produce more secure communities than constant images of the acute problems done by a few persons. I encourage anyone who missed reading Sheriff Chitwood’s article to locate it and read it carefully.

Gary Maris





Enforce all laws

Sheriff Mike Chitwood’s Sunday column regarding sanctuary status for illegals is way off the mark. As top cop in Volusia County, he seems confused about his role as law enforcer and the mandate entrusted to him by the voters to protect citizens.

While policing has an element of social work and community building, the first and foremost role is to enforce the laws, local, state and federal, without whining and excuses federal.

If liberal-minded cities and states want to pick and choose the laws they enforce to detriment of their citizens, that’s not where I want to live. There have been too many tragic consequences to law-abiding citizens and their families, including law enforcement, due to misguided sympathy and protection of people in this county illegally.

Chitwood doesn’t understand that those who are in in the U.S. illegally don’t have the rights of citizens. If I knew his position was to be soft on illegals I would have never voted for him.

Cheryl Jansen

Ormond Beach


Immigration myths?

Sad to see the chief law enforcement officer of the county become an apologist for sanctuary cities. His Sunday column was full of bogus, unsupported myths being circulated by the national sanctuary crowd. The most important of these is the assertion that we will be safer because sanctuary policies will allow illegals to safely report criminals without the fear of deportation. Where are the statistics/data to support this? Can the sheriff tell us how many undocumented people have been deported in Volusia County after reporting a crime? This also assumes that undocumented populations will tolerate the very felons that prey on them in their communities unless a sanctuary condition exists.

I think it’s disingenuous for the sheriff to conflate legal and illegal immigrants throughout the column. While he’s undoubtedly right that both may contribute to the economic and social well-being of a community, there’s a reason for the distinction. Few Americans would be worried about “alienating” those who broke the law.

Another myth is his concern about violating his oath and for being sued for cooperating with the federal government to enforce federal law. While there have been suits in lower courts on the issue, most legal experts agree that municipalities are on solid ground if they follow the federal law as written. It’s disturbing that his concern for honoring his oath to the Constitution would somehow allow him to violate the law. Sheriff Chitwood’s job would be much harder if Volusians could decide to ignore the laws they didn’t like!

Finally, the myth that a sanctuary situation would somehow discourage would-be terrorists is ludicrous on its face. Reasons for those who become radicalized are myriad and not yet fully understood. His concern that communities have been separated from society really goes to a failure to assimilate. Legal immigrants are more likely to assimilate. Does he really believe that hard core extremists would be less inclined to act if they were “mainstreamed.. Protecting criminals in a sanctuary environment is one thing, providing sanctuary for terrorists is quite another thing.

Wake up, sheriff!

Mike Connors

Palm Coast


Do the job

Maybe Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood should remember he was elected to follow the laws. Now he wants to allow illegals, who should not be here, to be exempt from federal and state laws. Get real! Chitwood should do the job he was elected to do, and if he can’t follow all the laws, he should resign.

Dennis Talbot

Palm Coast

An act of kindness

On Feb. 10 around 5:45 p.m. I went to pay my bill in a local barbecue restaurant and used my credit card, which came back “declined.” I called the company, which informed me that the charge was authorized and went through. I told them it stated “declined” on the receipt and the restaurant would not accept it. They do not accept checks and I didn’t have enough cash to pay the bill.

A lovely young lady came up to the counter and insisted on paying the bill, and only requested that I “pay it forward,” which I will definitely do. Then another lady came up to pay it also. It reinforces the fact that a lot of kind people live in the Daytona Beach area!

Marie W. Davis

Holly Hill



Parade stand

The irony of electing an evader of military service to the post of commander in chief is that he wants a show of military strength in the form of a parade in his honor. Presumably this parade will include armed troops marching in lockstep, tanks and various armament in our capital’s streets with jets crisscrossing overhead. Possibly this fantasy will intimidate those “treasonous” traitors who did not stand and applaud President Donald Trump in his State of the Union address.

This is a brat, not a man. He sees himself at the same stature as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong who required such public adulation. He fails to realize these men were not presidents, they were despots whose history was written in blood.

Barbara Morgan

Daytona Beach


Appalling sight

As a Korean War veteran, I am appalled at the left-wing media fawning over the sister of a murderous dictator. She is only there to show that she is so charming that the the Hollywood misfits and the left media will “just adore her.”

She is involved in the regime’s propaganda. Does the press know that she is one of the charmers for North Korea, and was only sent to South Korea to show that North Korea only wants peace? I suppose that she was an innocent in the death of her stepbrother because he did not go along with Kim Jong Un’s murderous dictatorship. I wonder what the left wing people would say if Hitler sent Eva Braun to charm the media?

Tom Donaghy

Flagler Beach


Not fun, but games

This is the time of the Olympics. One can watch either the games in South Korea — or the games they play in Washington.

Daniel Bowman

Palm Coast


Hard-earned wisdom

I have arrived at a point in life where I could be termed a senior statesman. Accordingly, I believe there is an important role for us older folks to play these days.

To my point: We are witnessing a level of anger in the public arena never before witnessed. Our president is being likened to Hitler. The entertainment industry fails to recall one of the basic tenets of our society, i.e., we may not care for the person holding an office, but it is our duty to respect the office, nonetheless.

We are called upon to respect our country, our flag, our national anthem, our military along with the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. Almost daily, those lessons are being ignored.

My message: Those engaging in this activity are sowing the seeds of a major bloody conflict, i.e., another American Civil War.

The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in the history of mankind. Without a major change soon, it may well happen again. And for those who are doing the spouting off, remember who has the guns, and where law enforcement and the military will stand.

Just because people can say something, doesn’t mean they should. They are playing with fire. They should think about what they are doing and saying before they say it.

Jim Donahue

Port Orange


Never forget

The U.S. government should strongly condemn the recently passed legislation in Poland that outlaws blaming Poland for Holocaust crimes ( punishable with prison sentences).

It is well-documented by survivors, descendants of survivors and historians the part played by peasants, the Polish police and sometimes the occupying Russian army, who collaborated with the Germans and betrayed many hidden Jews and the families or citizens who hid them. It is also documented that members of the Polish police shot many of the victims.

Mass shootings wiped out whole villages and efforts have been made in the last 10 or so years to document those lost and memorialize them.

I worked with a Polish refugee in London in the mid-1950s who survived being confined to a ghetto and then a death camp, and who was liberated by the Allies. A relative of mine is the curator of the Holocaust museum in London. I find many neighbors who seem to sweep the Holocaust under the rug and do not grasp the enormity of the losses.

We should be ever watchful that gangs or groups of neo-Nazi or white supremacists do not poison our society or thinking.

Margaret J. Yarranton

New Smyrna Beach


Know the truth

Our current president tweeted on Feb. 10 that “Republicans want to fix DACA far more than the Democrats do. The Dems had all three branches of government back in 2008-2011, and they decided not to do anything about DACA. They only want to use it as a Campaign issue….”

Actually, in 2008 Republican George W. Bush was in office, and in 2011 the Republicans had control of the House. Most important of all, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) didn’t even exist during those years! It was created in 2012. These are true and not “alternative” facts, genuine and not “fake” news.

What Donald Trump tweeted is an example either of colossal ignorance or of deliberate, conscienceless lying. Either way, it must stop.

We tell our children to know the facts and not to lie, but the current occupant of the White House is telling them just the opposite through his own example. Is that how low our nation has sunk? That our president has lost touch with reality and lives instead in a fantasy world spun from his own lies? And is that the path down which he is trying to lead the rest of us, adults as well as children?

Danielle Neetz

Port Orange