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

Dear Editor:
In response to the letter using the "pen name" of "R.L. Ranger:" (Oct. 29, 2002 Issue): The author is exercising his/her Constitutional rights to freedom of speech, and he/she is to be commended for that. He/She is entitled to his/her opinion and to share it. In the Oct. 2002 Washington Lawyer magazine, (DC) a well-written and interesting article on "Security versus Privacy," discussed on p. 23, the ability of people to protest anonymously (upheld by the United States Supreme Court 2x during the 1990's). The article cites the decision of McIntyre v. Ohio (1995), as an example, where the Court found an Ohio law unconstitutional because it prohibited distribution of political leaflets not disclosing the name and address of the circulator. Anonymous speech was supported as honorable and as a tradition for people to advocate views and express dissent. Anonymity shields us against "tyranny of the majority." The Bill of Rights and specifically, the First Amendment right in focus-- protect unpopular views and their proponents from suppression and/or retaliation of those intolerant to them.

After a community meeting one time, where I mentioned my name and was asked to list some details, including that I practiced immigration law, my office received unusual "crank" calls within 24 hours for the first (and only time to date)-- which conceivably had come from an anti-immigrant group member. Therefore, anonymity be praised! If I can express my views without intimidation and fear of reprisals--I shall! I vehemently disagree with the author of the letter who supports separating cultural, ethnic and religious groups so that we do not interfere with the "Tower of Babel," and in turn, segregation. (If he/she means this). However, I do believe and support in his/her right to express this viewpoint. Each wave of natives, and immigrants have almost always faced a "melting pot," and opposition to it in America, and throughout the world. Purity of the royals led to shocking birth defects.

Switching the subject entirely, I would like to point out that possibly 100% of the September 11 terrorists were "not immigrants!" Arguably, they were "visitors" and/or other "temporary stay" non-citizens" Controlling our "visitors" violating the conditions or overstaying visas is an entirely different matter than who we let become lawful permanent residents in this country, which is literally "immigration." "Aliens" (per the INA) or if you prefer a Euphemism, such as "non-citizens" are lawful permanent residents or others-- but arguably, those present on a non-immigrant visa, or visa waiver visitors, are not "immigrants" until they adjust status or are issued an immigrant visa. True, there are people "illegally present" in the United States, even without entry documents, and some are later, able to become "immigrants." However, the Sept. 11 terrorists, I believe, were not exactly "illegal immigrants" but rather people who were able to enter our country by subterfuge and fraud, or "visa violators" on non-immigrant visas, present in the U.S. on "temporary stays" but not necessarily planning or attempting to become permanent residents. These non-citizens rather than "immigrants," violated conditions of various student visas and overstay provisions. Additionally, the Christmas "shoe-bomber" on an airplane coming from England on a visa-waiver basis would have been a "visitor," not an "immigrant" causing "problems."

Thank you for allowing me a forum to express my opinion. I'm certain that I will receive adversarial and educational responses.

Anonymous
An Immigration Atty.


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