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Dear Editor:
Your 1 in 30 figure could also be interpreted as a very good reason not to legalize illegal aliens. Legalization encourages even more illegal immigration as shown by the very figures you use. The 1986 amnesty and successive mini-amnesties such as 245(i) and TPS resulted in even more people violating our immigration laws in the following years. Remember, too, that "legalizing" the millions of illegal immigrants already here also means providing immigration benefits for their millions of relatives who are not here. If you think we have problems with our legal immigration system now, wait until that backlog hits. On the fiscal side, consider that many of these illegal aliens, who are working poor, would become eligible for welfare benefits they cannot now receive were they to be "legalized". Recent reports on the effect of Bush's tax cuts suggest that those of us earning less than $338,000 a year, or who earn more than $28,000 (the middle class in other words), will be bearing the brunt of taxes and consequently of paying for social programs to support these workers. As for whether we, as a country, could do without 1-in-30 of us, the answer is simple: these are not "us" but people who have abused our laws and our hospitality. While massive deportation may not be practical, it is also not necessary: more intensive enforcement, particularly against employers, would have much the same effect.

Ali Alexander