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Dear Editor:
In response to Justin's letter to the Editor, by "socio-cultural" I do not mean "ethnicity", but rather shared values and an interest in becoming part of this country, not in using it for what he/she can get out of it. In the interests of diversity, do we really want to encourage the immigration of practicing polygamists, gay bashers, men who view their wife and kids as property, and those who question the US's very right to exist? We already have plenty of the homegrown variety of each, but do we need or want more? As I understand it, the State Department permits visas to be issued even to those who have publicly called for the overthrow of the US--should they be given green cards? This is a problem the Netherlands and Europe are already facing in regard to Muslim immigrants, and which we should realize exists: can a liberal society, in the name of liberality, admit illiberal immigrants who will change the nature of that society if admitted in sufficient number? (Before I am accused of profiling Muslims, I deny no such thing. Which is precisely the point--we should accept fewer immigrants, and select them more carefully, on an individual basis. And work harder at integrating them into American life. Some Muslims in very conservative Muslim countries are more similar to us than to their fundamentalist fellows.) In regard to making a commitment, I recently read where the late INS's former head, Mr. Ziglar has been studying up on immigration and is wondering why we continue to allow people to have green cards without a commitment to citizenship after 20 or 30 years. It's a good question.

Here's an issue that would be interesting for ILW.COM readers to discuss. An article in the Wall Street Journal (Feb. 25, 2003, p. A3, A8) discusses President Bush's efforts to free up trade in services. The EU is pressing for a change in services trade which would affect state and local rules governing business, including possibly the ability to limit access to the legal profession by requiring practitioners to pass a State bar exam. President Bush is set to respond to the request by the end of March. Given the willingness of many immigration lawyers to push for higher immigration levels, H visas, and amnesty for illegal aliens, from the protection of limits on entry to their profession, just how do they respond when it is their livelihood which is on the line? In other words, what would they tell President Bush he should do about the EU's request?

I didn't read far enough--the EU request would lift "certain" residency and citizenship requirements for practicing law. May not have anything to to with passing the state bar--this time.

Ali Alexander