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Dear Editor,

The INS news release dated January 18 and published on this web site is either a joke or the facade of an organization (sic) that is surely troubled by its financial accountability. The joke? Have the infamous Janet Reno give the INS a clean bill of fiscal health on her last days in office! I am sure millions of taxpayers will get a laugh out of that. Tripling the INS budget over seven years and introducing fiercely increased fees in 1998 to offset its deficit spells out fiscal irresponsibly to me, on parts of both Congress and INS, particularly when INS backlogs services to horrendous levels due to their incompetencies. I note with the present unsigned Bill before Congress to restructure the INS, that remuneration aspects relating to productivity is one of the stumbling blocks. The real issue lost here is how the INS spends its $4.8 billion, rather than what it needs to effectively and efficiently time-manage the immigration agenda. My educated guess is those "e" words will never form part of any balance sheet put before the American taxpayer. Immigration is supposed to bolster the economy, a point Congress well understands, but is rendered undeliverable by a top-heavy, mismanaged INS.

Neil Reed

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