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Dear Editor:

The Immigration Daily issue of March 18th was very interesting and informative.

First, I liked the inclusion under Editor’s Comments of a transcript of the presidential press conference of March 13th.

At that press conference, the president was questioned on the absurdity of a government law enforcement agency issuing visas posthumously to two of the most notorious terrorists of all times, which was interesting, and he was also asked about the illegal immigration issue.

His answer to this latter question, which by now seems like a mantra, was much the same as on other occasions: “The thing we’ve got to do is figure out how to make sure willing employers are able to match up with willing employees.” To this he added: “And so we’ll work – we’re making progress; 245(i) is good progress.”

I think if I were a member of the White House press corps I would have asked: “Mr. President: If you think this is the solution, as you have now said so many times, why don’t you implement something to put such a policy into effect?”

The President characterized what is being legislated regarding 245(i) as “good progress.” It is progress, but unfortunately it represents progress mostly for a relatively few immigrants with close family ties here in this country. I am fearful that the president will tout this 245(i) as much more than it is in order to claim that he is fulfilling the promises he made to the Mexican president on immigration before September 11.

Next, in the Immigration Daily of March 18, under the ILW.COM Featured Article of the Day was a book review: Buchanan Misses the Mark: Latest Anti-Immigrant Book Doesn’t Ring True, which (RIGHTLY) concludes that "Pat Buchanan’s book, Death of the West, is a story based on unreasonable fear....”

Unfortunately, the history of all immigration into this country has been one accompanied by unreasonable fears as to how each wave of new immigrants will spell the doom of our nation and today’s speculations are no different.

When the potato famine of the 1800’s brought into this country the Irish immigrants, mostly from the south of Ireland and mostly of the Roman Catholic faith, discrimination abounded. (I surmise Mr. Buchanan’s ancestors may have been included in those immigrant numbers.) This immigration gave rise to a secret society, the Know-Nothings, who persecuted the Irish immigrants not because of their origin or culture but mostly because they were Roman Catholics. The Know-Nothings labeled the Irish Catholics as “Papists” and claimed their agenda was to have Rome and the Pope take over our country. So much for that fear. Today’s xenophobic arguments are about the take over of race and culture.

Finally, in Letters to the Editor, in the March 18th issue was a letter from Ms. Christine Flowers in which she wrote some very constructive comments about the adjustment of status and how some are affected by it, and about the 3-10 year bar. What an excellent letter!

Richard E. Baer, D.V.M.