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Dear Editor:

I've noticed that many have expressed opinions in support of offering undocumented workers legal residence in the US, and I wanted to voice my opinion to shine some light on another facet of this issue. I am an H-1B worker who has lived in this country for over 13 years--during my childhood as a dependent of my father on E-1 status; in college on F-1 status; and now as a worker on H-1B status. While I do understand the contributions that these undocumented workers make to this country, offering them amnesty will most likely be at the expense of workers who have entered lawfully and continue to adhere to the law. If I were to have my employer sponsor me for legal residence and file my paperwork at the SESA/Department of Labor, I would be placed at the end of the line, behind the tens of thousands of illegal workers who submitted their applications before me. If there were an extension of the 245(i) or another 245(i)-type amnesty implemented (and RIR conversion made possible for the illegal residents who filed their applications a number of years ago), the line would become longer, forcing legal workers to wait years before their application envelopes would even be opened. How could it possibly be fair for a legal worker to have to stand in line behind an enormous trail of illegal workers? How could such realities possibly present a positive message for the workers who chose to adhere to the law? The more amnesties there are for illegal workers (especially if they come in such reliable three-year increments), the more workers will rely on them.

I am not necessarily opposed to the idea of legalizing undocumented workers, but I do hope that legislators and supporters will consider the consequences such legalization will have on legal foreign workers, if such legalization takes place under the current immigration system.

A Frustrated H-1B Worker in NY

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