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Dear Editor:

I would like to start by mentioning a few important data about "illegal immigrants" (I was always taught that "aliens" came from another planet...).


  1. They are employed 99% of the time in jobs that US citizens don't even bother looking at, never mind actually applying to those jobs.
  2. Since they are "thrown" in this illegal residency situation, they have to utilize fraudulent ways to prove that they are able to work and thus survive.
  3. Once they obtained that wonderful job at "papa's pizzeria" mopping the floor for $4.25 an hour, they are now deducting income taxes for the Federal and State government (using fake SSN...), not receiving any benefits from their money.
  4. If they are lucky, they will be able to remain at "papa's pizzeria" a few years without being bothered by INS officials. In this wonderful version, they will probably be able to depart with $5,000 to $10,000 hard earned
  5. While remaining in this country "illegally," GOD forbid something happens to their health or their children's. Due to to their double status as "illegal immigrants" and "discriminated immigrants," it will be impossible to receive health insurance. As a consequence, if someone becomes sick, the 4, 5, 10 years of hard work could go to pay "health related bills" and leave them with nothing, or perhaps even a debt.
  6. The illegal immigrant would have worked for a US citizen for the time he and his family remained here; since he was using a "fake SSN that belonged to a US citizen," his deductions will go to that fortunate person who at retirement age will be added those extra years.
  7. People living like this will not invest in their "long term" future in America (definitely not buying a house, going to college, expensive cars, etc...) since they don't know which day they will be deported.
  1. Illegal Immigrants take away jobs from US citizens
  2. They don't want to regularize their situation: FALSE. They don't have an opportunity to do so.
  3. They use our services without deducting taxes: FALSE (look above at number 6 above!!).
  4. They are doing criminal activities in this country: FALSE (they don't even complain if their employers abuse them, from fear of being deported!!).
  5. After being colonized by the Europeans some 400 years ago, aren't we all "ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS" in this country? I'm of course not including the REAL AMERICANS which are the NATIVE AMERICANS.
I could go on and on, this is a very complicated matter; however, past US policies have obviously NOT RESOLVED this phenomenon. Perhaps this opinion could shed some light on new ways to properly address this issue. We should definitely consider a way to make immigrants feel AMERICAN, just like we have done for OVER 300 years; making them feel unwelcome can only lead to unwanted outcomes but will eventually degrade our society by discriminating against millions of people. For those who don't know, there are an estimated 5+ million illegal immigrants residing in this country, many of them, derived of our badly enacted immigration law, have been residing illegally for over 10 to 20 years!!!.

As, a whole, immigration law should adapt itself to the new reality and restructure itself to become a good part of the legislative program of the US government. Reduce extraordinarly long qaiting periods for people who want to immigrate legally to the US, either because they have their parents or a job awaiting them. The horrendous September 11 events should more than ever persuade us to enact new and positive laws for the world citizens that reside in the US and would gladly accept a legal residence (making himself known to the authorities and easily detectable, unlike an illegal immigrant, who's main interest is to stay away as much as he/she can from law enforcement).

Maria Gracio
New York