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Dear Editor:

I'd like to thank Mr. Yates for his clarifications in his letter of 4/18/02. But, as part of his clarification he wrote (in part) that:..."we have a system that forces people to come illegally..", and "...people wishing to immigrate to the United States are forced to come illegally". Perhaps, once again, I'm not getting Mr. Yates' "drift", but I don't think anyone is forced to come here - legally or illegally. Mr. Yates may believe that anyone who wishes to immigrate to this country has a "right" to do so. Many other people believe that admission to the U.S. is a "privilege", and that the immigration laws exist to determine who will be granted that privilege.

He writes (paraphrasing) that the immigration "debate" is plagued with "falsehoods, half-truths, and idealized situations" and that "reality" dictates that a "reasonable, equitable, and workable system be developed." I agree with Mr. Yates that both sides of the "debate" tend to stretch the truth to support their positions. I also agree that we need to decide, as a nation, what we want to do about immigration and to develop a workable system. I suspect that what Mr. Yates considers "reasonable" and "equitable" may be quite different from the wishes of a majority of the American people, who favor reducing immigration.

John H. Frecker
Baileyville, ME