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Dear Editor:

The horrific event of September 11 not only changed forever the lives of the families and loved ones of the victims of this terrible tragedy; it deeply affected others too. This terrorist act dashed the hopes of over three million Mexicans who were expecting a legal resolution of their status in this country. They and their families too have been deeply affected. Many of them have been working in this country, paying their taxes and leading good lives for up to ten years or more.

The Pat Bucanans and other immigration restrictionists have used the tragedy in a smear campaign to call for the removal of all immigrants from our country and to condemn any consideration of their plight They are obsessed with removing and keeping out hard working peaceful Mexican workers who want to build buildings and work in our factories and hotels and restaurants.

Mayor Guiliani in his farewell address pointed out (to New Yorkers) that "the key to our success as a city, the reason we are the most famous city in the world, and the reason why we are really legitimately the capital of the world is really just one thing: immigration."

He further stated that his grandparents on both sides were immigrants who could not speak the language and arrived in thus country with nothing. He added that but for them leaving Italy for this country, he wouldn't be here---and this is probably true for the rest of us.

Why would anyone want to begrudge to others the privileges that we ourselves have been given? The fact that no terrorists are Latinos must be lost on Mr. Buchanan and his supporters. The Mexicans are our neighbors, good neighbors and the largest consumers of our products in the world.

The president (in remarks referring to the US-Mexican immigration question) quoted on CNN.COM. Prior to Sept. 11 said: "I do believe that when we find a willing employer and a willing employee we ought to match the two. We ought to make it easier for people who want to employ somebody, who are looking for workers, to be able to hire people who want to work."

This makes sense. Let's not discriminate against people who do not want to destroy us but who want to join us, to work with us, to help us, and to share in our prosperity

Richard E. Baer