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Dear Editor:
I respectfully disagree with the editorial position of ILW.COM that the majority of immigrant visas should be employer-based, rather than family-based. Family reunification has been, and should remain, the cornerstone of our legal immigration system since 1965. The US Senate appropriately rejected reliance on a Canadian-style point system and the elimination of the brother and sister preference during the debate over the Immigration Act of 1990. Many, if not most, immigrants come to the United States for jobs and economic advancement. But they are not married to their jobs and do not shed their love and devotion to family members. Family sponsored immigrants come here to work, too, and contribute to the economy and the society. They have the support networks that family relationships provide and that an employer-based system lacks. It makes perfect sense and serves the national interest to allocate more visas to those individuals seeking admission whose family members already in the US desire their entry. We need both family-sponsored and employer-sponsored immigrants and not one to the exclusion of the other. (The writer was counsel to the late Senator Paul Simon on the US Senate Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee from 1987 to 1993.)

John Trasvina
San Francisco, CA



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