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Dear Editor:

Ms. Pavla Cervova speaks to an understandable frustration when she justifies the 245(i) amnesty in her recent letter, but she really crosses the line when she impugns the motives of Mr. Ali and other opponents of the program. My wife and I are Slavic immigrants, as I assume Ms. Cervova is, but we both played by the rules in getting here and my wife especially has paid the price in delays, an inability to work when we really needed the money and the tremendous stress of waiting for her forms to arrive years late. It does not take a racist to resent queue jumpers getting special rules made for them so that they can avoid the consequences of their own illegal acts.

I realize that illegal has different connotations for those of us from socialist societies because the law there was something imposed on us by "them" and anyone who did not try to steal back some of what the state extorted from him was an idiot, but it should not be that way here. This is a government that we ran to for shelter and opportunity. American residency and citizenship are a privileges that should be earned.

For that reason I go even further than opposing the queue jumping aspects of 245(i) and humbly submit that family reunification is not the best criteria for our immigration policy. Most immigrants should be admitted based on what they can offer the country in skills and talents and the majority of the remainder should be admitted if they have humanitarian grounds more significant than wanting to live with one's brother, namely flight from real persecution. There are enough skilled immigrants straining to fill our needs and enough people living in hellish conditions that I find it hard to summon the high levels of sympathy Ms. Cervova expects from me. Several of my relatives would rather live here and are nice people. That and a fraudulent tourist visa should not be enough to get them residency.

"Honza" Jan Prchal