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

Dear Editor:
Just a comment on the Letters to the Editor recently submitted by J. Seyes and Linda Davidson both well written, cogent and correct. However, one basic problem in pursuing the immigration debate in our country is the semantics of terminology. Definitions must be clear and their meanings correctly applied. For example, we often hear in the media references to "citizenship" when "permanent residence" is meant. The news media seems to consistently overlook this semantic distinction and all too often it leads to confusion by the general public. Another misused term, used by almost everyone, including Ms. Davidson in her wonderful analysis, is the word "immigrant".

Under my definition, "immigrants" are people who have complied with the law and are in status on valid nonimmigrant visas (while this may sound inconsistent, nonimmigrants are actually temporary immigrants who are complying with the law), or who have adjusted to lawful permanent residence. Anyone else present in the United States who is not a U.S. citizen, and has either overstayed their visa or entered without inspection, are "illegals", and they should not be called "immigrants" because, in fact, they do not possess such status under the law. To incorrectly define them demeans the efforts of those who have complied with the law.

It is not the lawful immigrants against whom the unbridled wrath of the raging right should be focused, it is the "illegals" . . . let's all get the definitions straight and not worry about being politically correct, call a spade a spade, and a illegal an illegal, and stop branding the whole immigration process as bad when in fact it is good, with a few bad apples spoiling the barrel.

We have a problem in the United States that can be solved, but the thrust should not be aimed at legalizing lawbreakers through an amnesty program (that did not work in 1986 - let's learn from our mistakes), but rather on filling the needs of American employers. Shift the focus from bleeding hearts to economics, a language that even the Tancrado's of this world should be able to understand.

Let's all work together to find solutions for filling the employment needs of our country without constantly (1986 Amnesty Program and the 2002 proposals) rewarding law breakers, by correctly addressing the realities of the American workforce in order to accurately monitor and fill employer's needs, rather than continuing the present slow, antiquated, unrealistic, overly bureaucratic and overly restrictive Temporary Worker and Labor Certification processes that fairly meet the needs of nobody.

David D. Murray, Esq.
Newport Beach, CA


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