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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

Dear Editor:

Mr. Richard Baer's letter to the editor was simply misguided.

There are no parallels between the Palestinians seeking family members in the rubble of their destroyed homes and undocumented immigrants in the US being whisked away by law enforcement authorities. Undocumented immigrants came into this country without heed to US law; they ignored and violated the law, and their entry and presence in this country for certain periods of time were, in themselves, in violation of the law. Quite simply, if one acts against the law, one is apprehended/punished by law enforcement agencies. If I park my car where it's prohibited by law to park, I am punished by the law. If I trespass on someone's property, I am punished by the law. Does the police officer ask me if I knew I wasn't supposed to do these things, before he issues a ticket or sends me to jail? No. These undocumented immigrants came into the country in violation of the law, get multiple warnings before law is enforced upon them, and are still complaining and demanding rights instead of accepting the legal consequences of their actions.

Furthermore, these "immigrants" and their amnesty/appeal applications have clogged up the Department of Labor and the INS so that law-abiding immigrants are forced to wait years and years for their applications to be processed. Imagine if there was a four-year wait for driver's license applications and renewals, because waivers of license suspension applications, for those with various driving-related violations clogged up the DMV. You, with a clean driving record for the entire 17 years that you've been driving for, applying for a renewal or a license for another state, are in line behind thousands of people whose licenses have been suspended for violations (intended or unintended), who are requesting waivers of suspension or some other method of obtaining a valid license. You stand in line behind thousands of people who were caught driving with fake driver's licenses, in stolen vehicles. And you are not permitted to drive for those three years of waiting, because your license is about to expire and you cannot have your application processed on time... Your experience in such a situation will likely (a) be stressful and greatly frustrating; and possibly (b) convince you that it was in fact silly to even spend the money and time to get a real driver's license in the first place. After all, what incentive would you have to follow the law if lawbreakers are entitled to the same treatment as law-abiders?

That is what is happening in immigration. As for the Palestinians, they are living in refugee camps and they certainly did not jump the line. They are neither illegal residents of the refugee camps, nor have they stolen any social security benefits from anyone.

John Smith


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