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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

Dear Editor:

The INS Commissioner in his remarks to NIF on Feb. 1, 2002, (Immigration Daily - 2/5/02) expressed his philosophy that the United States ought to welcome immigrants and assured his audience that the migration talks with Mexico have not been forgotten. I hope this is true.

It has been estimated that there are now over 8,000,000 illegal immigrants in the United States. According to statistics from the 1997 Statistical Yearbook of the INS, Section VII, (Immigration Daily 1/31/02), more than half (54%) of these illegal immigrants are Mexican. The Yearbook also estimates that of the total number of "illegals", 40% are overstays. (It estimates only 16% of the illegal Mexicans to be overstays.)

Out of every 100 immigrants entering the country, 30 return home each year and this annual emigration is likely to be well above the 200,000 mark and is increasing (according to the Yearbook).

If the above statistics are correct, 84% of illegal Mexican immigrants are EWIs (entries without inspection). The Mexican overstays must be so low because most undocumented Mexicans could not qualify for an entry visa of any kind. EWI is the only way they can get into this country. I could find no statistics on the numbers of illegal Mexicans returning home each year. I assume is it higher than the total estimate of 30%.

From the above I conclude that there are at least three million or more undocumented Mexican workers who have been in this country for some time and do not want to go back to Mexico. They are making a living here, are self-supporting, and have established cultural and family ties. They are satisfied with their low paying menial jobs and do not complain. You will find no terrorists among these people. They do not want to destroy the United States; they want to be come a part of it. As the Commissioner noted in his address, "We need them." I hope he will agree with the opinion of his president and that INS will find some provision wherein "when we find a willing employer and a willing employee we ought to match the two" (Bush quoted on CNN.COM).

I hope, too, that Mr. Ziglar has read the letter to the editor from A Reader in the Immigrant's Weekly of 2/4/02 and has read the many previous letters to the editors of Immigrant's Weekly and Immigration Daily as well as the editors' comments on the subject of immigration. They offer good advice on the immigration problem.

I agree with A Reader, Why should we continue with all of this nonsense and the waste of millions of dollars?

Now, the situation (after Sept. 11) instead of getting better is becoming even worse. In the concern for increasing national security more states are requiring that all drivers must have a social security number in order to obtain or renew a driver's license. While these laws may well intended, they do not increase security. Terrorists have no trouble in obtaining legal visas and fraudulent passports, driver's licenses etc. It is the hard working undocumented immigrant who without a social security number will be forced to break yet another law. He will be unable to get or renew his legal driver's license and without the license cannot get liability insurance. He needs his transportation to keep his job.

Surely, the INS (and the government) can come up with some legal form of petition whereby the undocumented worker can apply for legal status. If we must have punishment for a law having been broken, let it be in the form of a monetary fine that the worker must pay from his hard earned wages. Let the punishment fit the violation. Granting a petition for legal status will not be an amnesty. Considered in the petition can be the length of stay of the petitioner in this country (at least five years) his work history, tax history, lack of any criminal offense, his community ties, property ownership, endeavors to learn English and his commitment to becoming a citizen of this country, along with perhaps legitimate sponsorship by family, employer or other person in this country.

Richard E. Baer, D.V.M.


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