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Dear Editor:

In response to Charles Schwartz letter of January 4, 2002, let me say that, unfortunately, I believe there will be some sort of amnesty granted. However, I do not agree that this is a good way to find out who is here and make them come to us, etc. The whole "let's give them permanent residence and that will solve the illegal alien problem" rationale proved a failure in 1986 when the last amnesty program was passed. Not only did it encourage more people to come in illegally (why not since we gave amnesty once, surely we will do it again!) but many illegal aliens failed to come forward during the year that was allowed. Never fear though, lawyers immediately filed a class action suit to extend that time frame. In the end that didn't help either since many of those who were illegal in 1986 are still illegal, still working (with someone else's stolen social security number), and enjoying the benefits of our country. I guess one would then have to say they probably didn't come here to work hard, pay their taxes and be integrated to the American society. Actually, we could afford to track down illegal aliens if the citizens of this country insisted that our government officials treat violating immigration law as seriously as violating any other law. Illegal aliens should already be considered wanted. When the data bases are complete and information sharing is available among all law enforcement agencies we will finally be able to identify and apprehend many of these illegals who have managed to thumb their noses at the laws of our country for far too long. The length of time one manages to break the law without being caught doesn't make it any less a crime unless, of course, one can convince the government to reward them for breaking that law!!