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Dear Editor:
I have enjoyed reading the column by Gary Edelman on a point system and the responses from Harry Sheinfeld, Ali Alexander and others. I am generally in agreement with an earned legalization/points system. Here are a few comments to add to the discussion. 1. Truly close the border to illegal immigration. The government must allocate the resources to make this work at the border and through the removal process. I feel little sympathy for individuals who knowingly break our laws and the sovereignty of this country. When Chinese, Pakistanis and other non-Central Americans are using Mexico as a conduit to the US, is it hard to imagine that the terrorist elements will also use it as a means to get to the US? 2. Allow individuals who are in the US to obtain a SS# if they register with INS and become part of the to-be-created earned legalization program. Remove the Social Security Card as a document to evidence work authorization. The Social Security Administration should not be considered a last line of defense against illegal immigration or terrorists. They are incapable of handling the role. Unfortunately, I see us needing to move towards a national ID card. We willingly allow Visa and Mastercard to track us everywhere, why not the government. 3. Create a point system program which looks for skilled workers from abroad, but also allows unskilled workers in the US to get points and obtain temporary or conditional status based upon contributions to SSA for 20+ quarters of work. This would remove the incentive for underground employment and increase the gov't coffers. After meeting these requirements, their conditional status would be removed and they would be eligible for permanent resident status. 4. Over a million people gained permanent residency in the US in 2001, what is the appropriate number? Let's set the number based upon whatever factors are deemed appropriate (family, asylum/refugee, employment, US birth rates, economic growth, etc.) and stop the illegal migration. Illegal immigrants do not come to the US asking what can they do for this country, but rather what can this country do for them (provide jobs, etc.). We need to recognize this fact and make sure the immigration system works for the good of our country.

M. Jacobs
Hyattsville, MD