Immigrant families wait to be searched and loaded into transport vans and buses taking them to the U.S. Border Patrol McAllen Station after they were caught illegally crossing into the United States from Mexico last month in Los Ebanos, Tex. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Regarding the June 3 editorial “The myth of migrant crime”:

As a federal agency with a clear mission to enforce the law, Immigration and Customs Enforcement will not exempt any class of individual from its efforts to strengthen national security and uphold public safety, nor will it apologize for fulfilling the oath of office guiding those actions. ICE does, however, prioritize its resources such that nearly 90 percent of those arrested have prior criminal convictions or face pending criminal charges.

Our statutory mandate must be applied equally to anyone we encounter in violation of federal immigration law, including families. We should not continue excusing individuals who violate our laws by calling them “law-abiding” and normalizing their behavior by labeling it as merely “unauthorized” and not the clear violation of federal law that it is.

It would be far more beneficial if the focus of our national debate included responsible efforts to reduce the pull factors that continue encouraging people to make the difficult and dangerous journey north, only to violate U.S. law if and when they reach our border. 

Mark A. Morgan, Washington

The writer is acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Regarding the May 31 front-page article “U.S. holding minors at border longer than allowed”:

That hundreds of minors are being held at U.S. border facilities beyond legal time limits is a grave violation of children’s rights. Simply put, this practice is un-American.

Children and families are fleeing the only home they’ve known because of violence, extreme poverty and unrest. When you consider the greatness of the United States and our history, have we really reached the point at which we’re detaining kids? And now we’re watching the federal government hold children in custody — without access to mandated safeguards and services — for double the time federal law and court orders allow? What is our great nation coming to?

Save the Children is calling on Congress and the president to provide additional funding to address the humanitarian needs at the border and to develop a long-term solution to prevent this from continuing.

We urge our leaders to uphold the rights of all children — regardless of who they are or where they’re from — because surely, every child deserves a future.

Mark K. Shriver, Washington

The writer is senior vice president of U.S. programs and advocacy for Save the Children.