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Dear Editor:

In response to the letter from Maria Gracio, I would like to point out that illegal aliens (that is the appropriate term) are not "thrown" into an illegal residency situation, they choose it.

I wonder where she gets the 99% figure that she uses for the jobs that illegal aliens are working in jobs that US citizens supposedly don't apply for. That argument might have worked prior to the high unemployment rate we currently have.

It never ceases to amaze me what rationale people can come up with for breaking the law!! Using a fraudulent social security number is not doing the "real owner" of that number any favors. If the alien decides not to (or can't afford) to pay his/her bills or gets into trouble using that social security number the person who owns that number is held responsible.

This is called identity theft and causes the person who's identity is stolen years of trouble with their credit and, in many cases, thousands of dollars to try to prove that they are not the person responsible for the debts. I personally know of people this has happened to. In two cases the individuals had to file bankruptcy. I doubt that any of them feel appreciation for the extra time credited to their retirement.

Health care is extremely expensive in the US. However, hospitals and doctors are required to treat people regardless of their ability to pay. If they have nothing, nothing can be taken. What happens to the bills? They are written off as bad debt and the rest of us pick up the tab in increased insurance premiums, prescription costs and higher taxes.

As far as making long term plans, many of them were in the US illegally for years prior to 1986 when the amnesty program was approved and did not file the papers to legalize their status. What do you consider long term? I agree that the past policies have not resolved the problems with illegal immigration. The amnesty program of 1986 was clearly a mistake and a complete failure at reducing illegal immigration. It just rewarded those who broke the law and encouraged more people to do so, counting on the US government to do it again in a few years. This would already have been pushed through had 9/11 not happened.

The reality is that there is a process in place to allow people to live and work in this country. While it is not perfect, the people of moral character who follow that process are the ones that we should be encouraging to come here.