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Dear Editor:
In response to the October 24, 2002, letter submitted by J. Seyes, I agree with your frustration regarding the Adjustment and Family Unification Act of 2002, introduced by Rep. Gephardt, that appears to reward people who came here illegally with legal status if they meet very basic requirements. I, too, think this is unfair to those who have paid fees, struggled with INS forms and regulations, and have waited to come here legally. We must do something, however, about the millions of undocumented individuals whose wages go untaxed, whose medical bills go unpaid, and who do not carry auto insurance. Untold millions of dollars go untaxed each year that should be supporting our schools, police and emergency services, highway departments, and other public services, all of which illegals have access to, but are largely unsupported by the illegal population. We need to stop, or at least curb identity theft and make sure that payment of social security benefits to the legal owner of that social security number continues. All too often benefits stop because an illegal is using that social security number to earn money.

Overgeneralizing this issue is unfair to those immigrants who come to this country, work hard, pay taxes, are law-abiding members of the community, and contribute to this country. My hope would be that the passage of this act would enable the government to tax the millions who live in the shadows and make them obey the same laws that we are required to follow. I would also hope that by assimilating them into the U.S. culture and legitimizing their presence, that some of the resentment and prejudice against the immigrant population would stop. I'm sure my letter appears prejudiced to some, but facts are facts. Schools are overburdened, hospitals are overwhelmed, our population is increasing but our tax revenue is not, and all of this is unfair to U.S. citizens and legal residents. I am not opposed to immigration, only the continued support and allowance of unchecked illegal immigration that our government's inaction permits. I am grateful to those non-citizens who fought the paperwork and laws and made it here legally. I appreciate your making the effort to follow the law and come here legally, rightfully, and with good intentions. To those of you who have started this process and are waiting for legal status, I wish you luck. Fair or not, this country has a problem that we cannot continue to ignore. Passage of this act may help. J. Seyes is right - politics "ain't" great, and this act is unfair in many ways. I encourage everyone to bombard congress with letters, emails and calls and let them know your thoughts. If this act isn't the solution, let's come up with one that is.

Linda Davidson
Charlotte NC