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Dear Editor:
Your proposition of reducing family immigration in favor of raising the number of employment based immigrants assumes that family immigration does not provide for a pool of eligible workers. In fact it does. The immigrant parents are usually are immediate entrants in to the labor market. Their children will be future entrants into the labor market. The idea of reducing family immigration in in favor of boosting the numbers of employment based immigrants assumes that the pool of potential immigrants is a tube of toothpaste: squeeze it at one end and the toothpaste oozes out at the other end. Squeeze family immigration and there'll be more employment-based immigrants. That is simply not true. The problem with our dwindling labor supply is the direct result of our intolerance for immigration. By reducing the number of H-1B visas that can be issued annually and by increasing the filing fees, increasing the arbitrary decisions on these applications--it is inevitable that companies will find other ways to get sources of labor at even cheaper prices than if they brought in foreign workers here legally. Small or new businesses struggling to survive here need a pool of cheaper labor and that has been supplied by illegal workers. Every job exported to other countries means that more jobs that Americans had are also lost. If we could bring in 3 computer programmers, instead of exporting the whole department to India, we would be preserving jobs for other computer programmers who are American citizens. Yet we don't see it that way, because we have such an entrenched bias toward foreign labor.

Mary L. Sfasciotti, Attorney at Law
Chicago, Illinois