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Dear Editor:
In reference to the article on Religous Workers' 5 year extension... I agree that most of it is restrictive and that the Service does appear to overstep the regs. I used to work at a Service Center until I recently retired and am working for an attorney in Dallas. Now, I find myself on the other side of the fence. However, I know the reasoning and how the present interpretation has evolved. Contrary to the article's claim, and apparently backed up by faulty statistics at least where I was working, the overwhelming majority of religious worker cases were fraudulent. Because the Service used to be lax on religious workers, many petitioners took advantage of it and used it to bring in their relatives and friends. Many organizations charge a lot of money (or donate large sums to their organizations) in order to secure a coveted Green Card. Some organizations are not churches at all but a storefront made to look like a church. There is even one that uses churches to sell dope. The Service Center Investigations uncovered many many cases of fraud. As I said, the overwhelming majority were found to be fraud. I believe that is the reasoning for the tightening... It would be a wonderful vehicle to get church's people in if only there weren't so many crooks out there to mess it up.

Ben Garcia