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Dear Editor:

I have read with interest the series of passionate letters supporting a type of "amnesty" for illegal aliens, particularly Mexicans, sent to ILW.COM since January 2002, written by Richard E. Baer, D.V.M. I understand that after working in Mexico for a time, he has a genuine concern, love and understanding of the Mexican people and their poverty-stricken plight in their homeland. I suggest, however, that Dr. Baer's efforts to aid their poverty, and to provide opportunity for them, would be better placed in Mexico, effecting change in the Mexican government and the thousand or so wealthy families that control Mexico, who are responsible for the poverty of the ordinary Mexican people.

While Dr. Baer's plea for humanity and mercy for these people is noble, his view appears clouded by passion rather than reason. I have been practicing immigration law for almost 24 years. I was around when the "amnesty" of 1986 was passed; a program I then supported, but a program that sang the same tired song Dr. Baer now sings. The 1986 amnesty program carried with it, as a political trade off to protect American jobs, a provision for employer sanctions. History reveals that neither the amnesty, nor the employer sanctions have been successful in achieving the goals of Congress, which were to bring the burgeoning illegal population into the mainstream of American life, while at the same time closing the door of illegal immigration behind them. History further reveals that litigation concerning the 1986 amnesty program and its administration by the INS continues through today, a victory just having been won by Peter Schey in the US District Court, resulting from INS abuses of the intent of the Congress in implementing that amnesty program.

Now, Dr. Baer and others in favor of a new amnesty program advocate burdening the already backlogged and broken US immigration system with yet another gift to illegal aliens by flooding the INS with more applications, complete with its seemingly never-ending progeny of family-related immigration issues that still haunt the immigration system as a result of the 1986 amnesty.

As to Dr. Baer's concern that it would be costly and impossible to "round up" all the illegal aliens, I agree, it can't be done. But how about this one . . . simply enforce the laws on the books . . . employer sanctions . . . and nobody will need to "round up" anybody.

As to illegals as "criminals," just what part of "you can't do that, it's against the law" do Dr. Baer and the illegals not understand? Rather than make people violate the law as economic refugees, better to solve the problems in their home country, but only Mexico itself can do that. As to a general amnesty . . . why not just open the golden gates of opportunity to all the downtrodden of the world and let anyone, from any country who seeks a better life than their country can give them the opportunity to work legally in the United States? . . . well, the answer should be obvious.

David D. Murray, Esq.