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Dear Editor:
The proposal in your Dec. 23 editorial is just wrong-headed or at least not well thought out. In my opinion, Section 214(b) has little or nothing to do with the national security inquiry. These two inquiries are largely independent of each other when consular officers adjudicate nonimmigrant visa applications. The first inquiry is to ensure that no applicant is a terrorist. This focuses on background checks, law enforcement info, etc. This is not "made impossible by 214(b)", as you contend. It must be done even if the person is applying for an immigrant visa or any other type of status to come to the U.S. The second inquiry is the one under 214(b), that no one who applies for a nonimmigrant visa has immigrant intent. Getting rid of section 214(b), as you advocate, means that the first inquiry is done but the second one is not. This has the effect of throwing out the whole nonimmigrant visa system. Applicants would then be issued nonimmigrant visas even if they flatly admit they have the immigrant intent to remain in the US (except for dual-intent visas). The whole system would be a charade. These non-immigrant visa holders would then be perfectly free to circumvent the normal immigrant visa channels. If you are advocating that the whole nonimmigrant visa system be revised or abolished, that's another thing, but you're not. Also, your statement that "single young men with no visible means of support are the bedrock of immigration to America" sounds good but is misleading. Single young men who are true "immigrants" may be the bedrock of immigration, but not young men who apply for non-immigrant visas, as the 15 of the 19 hijackers from Saudi Arabia. If they want to be here in the US on temporary status, i.e., non-immigrant status, then by definition they are not interested in immigrating to the US, at least not at the time of the visa application. Therefore, they cannot be the bedrock of immigration. Sens. Kyl and Roberts are correct. Non-immigrant visas should probably have been denied to these hijackers who probably didn't meet the criteria to overcome immigrant intent anyway under 214(b). The alternative to come into the US for these guys would have been to go through the regular immigrant visa channel of family or employment petition or claim political asylum. But we all know would-be terrorists won't do this because it's too slow and backlogged. They won't be in this country quickly enough to carry out their attacks. They don't have the patience to wait for priority numbers like regular folks who have the decency to play by the rules. I don't see you speak up for young single Thai and Filipino women who are routinely denied tourist visas because their lack of wealth or visible means of support in their countries show that they have immigrant intent. Finally, what about single young women immigrants. Aren't they also bedrock of immigration to America, if not more than young men?

Liem Doan, Esq.



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