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Dear Editor:

The letters to the Editor for April 17th. from Ms. Flowers and Mr. Yates seem to have a common theme. It came across to me as: "How dare the United States have the temerity to set the conditions for visitors to the country and to try to enforce its laws?" Ms. Flowers said we were becoming "arrogant" by shortening the minimum period of admission for B-2 non-immigrant visitors. She's apparently worried that other countries will retaliate and that she will be limited on her next visit to Paris. For most of us, though, that long in Paris isn't likely to be a problem.

Mr. Yates, while supporting efforts to extend Section 245(i), wrote that: "The problem is that our immigration system encourages illegal immigration." I agree with him. The "system", through lax enforcement and through ill-advised programs such as amnesty and "245(i)" does encourage illegal immigration.

Mr. Yates also wrote (in part):..."most people will never have a realistic opportunity to come to the United States legally." Again I agree with him. Thank goodness! With 6 billion or so people in the world, most of them won't be able to come here legally. A majority of Americans want fewer immigrants, according to the polls.

I looked at the INS website (www.ins.usdoj.gov), and it appears to me that a B-2 non-immigrant visitor can still be admitted for up to 6 months, if they have a legitimate reason. I used to work on the border in Maine, and it made no sense to automatically admit someone for 6 months when they were "just going over town" for a couple hours. It may be a little inconvenient for folks to have to explain why they need 6 months, but it doesn't seem "arrogant" to ask them.

John H. Frecker
Baileyville, ME


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