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Dear Editor:
Dr. Baer was puzzled as to why I mentioned blonde, blue-eyed Latinas. Justin had asserted that certain unspecified groups were attempting to "divide and conquer". He/she didn't specify who "dividing and conquering" what or whom, but given the nature of our "discussions" here, and his statement that he is African-American, I assumed, that he meant whites dividing and conquering Latinos and African-Americans. The point of most of my letter was that there are already major differences among Latinos, including race, and to categorize people as "Hispanics" or "Latinos" and to claim they are a "race" in need of protection or preferences is silly. There is no need for unspecified groups Justin's letter mentioned to divide and conquer groups which are already divided. I agree with what seems to be Justin's position in his latest letter, that it should be ability and character, not race or ethnicity, which matter. I also agree with him that our immigration system needs to be overhauled, though apparently Justin believes in open borders (based on his statement that he doesn't care what it says on your I-94). The reality is that there are literally billions of people who would like to come here, many of them purely for economic opportunity, with no interest in adapting to our culture. In fact, there are many that would prefer we adapt to theirs, even when that culture produced the conditions which led them to leave their countries. The "welfare" aspects of our country also make open immigration impractical. I strongly believe in an orderly system of immigration, with enforcement of laws and rules. What those laws and rules are, I'm open to changing, but there simply must be some. It is our very failure to enforce the existing laws and rules which have led to the problems with family reunification that Justin's letter identifies. Up until the past 15 years or so, there didn't seem to be the kinds of problems we have now with timely processing. Part of the current problem is that the sheer numbers of people who want to come here simply cannot be processed by the current system. There's question as to whether they could be "absorbed" in terms of employment and providing services, without doing a disservice to our existing citizens. Another part of the problem is that it takes more time, effort, and resources to untangle the situations of people who have broken the complex immigration laws. When we've used "amnesties" such as that of 1986, or TPS, or 245(i), we have added to the administrative burden and made the wait even longer for those who are following the law. What it boils down to is that we need simpler immigration laws and categories (so that people can generally follow the law without needing a lawyer to explain to them what the law is), commitment to enforcement of those laws, and the money to handle timely processing and enforcement. That's a pretty big wish list.

Ali Alexander



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