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Dear Editor:
Gary Endelman's article, Earned Legalization: A Points System for Essential Workers, is an interesting thought, but falls flat on its face for two key reasons. First, Gary bases his assumption that there need not be any direct connection to an individual employer on the following statement: "There would be no requirement for any employer to demonstrate they have been unable to recruit US workers or have been paying the prevailing wage. Everyone knows this has not been happening. Indeed, this is precisely why most undocumented workers were hired in the first place." He refers to this as a "cycle of exploitation." Gary forgets that the Social Security Administration has sent out "mismatch" letters regarding, what was that now, eight million employees? We also have heard of a recent proposal for a "totalization" agreement with Mexico. The anti-immigrant forces bemoan the fact that this would give U.S. social security benefits to those who worked in the U.S. illegally. Think about that for a minute. How does one get on the social security rolls if they were working illegally, under the table, as Gary suggests? They don't. They get on the rolls by working with a social security number that is either not valid for employment or not their social security number and they pay Social Security taxes. How does an employer "exploit" someone they do not know is illegal? Attorneys across the US have had employers bring in someone to see the lawyer to "do something." They have just gotten a "mismatch" letter and the employer does not want to lose that worker. The lawyer explains the labor certification process and the employer is ready to go forward. Why? Because they are paying the person above the prevailing wage already and there is really a shortage in the particular occupation. But the lawyer has to then inform the employer about the lack of
245(i), the 3/10 year bars, and the fact that due to the alien constantly traveling, he has a "permanent" bar under INA 212(a)(9)(C). Add to that the fact that, as was the case with so many individuals from Mexico during the last amnesty, the alien doesn't want a green card. He just wants to work here until he can finish building that home he has under construction in Mexico. Gary states that the "marketplace, not another layer of DOL regulations" should govern and I agree. The problem is, and this is the second reason this proposal will fail, is that he wants to create bureaucracies is every State of the union. That is the last thing we need. A simpler solution would be to move up the Registry date making it permanently 14 years (and at the same time change Cancellation back to the old 7 years/extreme hardship). Then remove the double temporary requirement from theH-1A and H-1B category, at least as far as NAFTA countries are concerned, if not for all. Remove the H-2B cap and also amend the INA to say that 212(a)(9) does not apply to citizens of NAFTA countries.

Eugene J. Flynn