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Dear Editor,

The I-9 has claimed another victim as Linda Chavez bites the dust. If there is a more effective way of preventing professional women from serving in the Cabinet, I would like to know what it is. As a harsh critic of the late lamented nomination of Zoe Baird to be Attorney General, Ms. Chavez may have died by the same harsh sword that she wielded. The fact remains that she appears to have been motivated by the same generous humanitarian impulses that led an earlier generation of rescuers to create the Underground Railroad. Employer sanctions are observed in the higher reaches of our political class only in the breach, and, like the failed experiment of prohibition, serve primarily to breed cynicism and disrespect for the law itself. The opponents of Chavez, and I count myself among them, pointed to her lack of concern for worker's rights. The most basic right of any American worker is the right to work with dignity in an economy that provides growth and challenge. For that, opponents of Chavez would do well to repeal employer sanctions, as Sen. Orrin Hatch has previously proposed, and provide an expanded and enlightened system of employment-based immigration that is self-consciously designed to bring in those who will enrich America. If Linda Chavez can help bring that about, maybe even she would celebrate her demise.

Gary E. Endelman
Immigration Attorney