- The Washington Times - Monday, October 9, 2000

No amnesty for illegal immigration

I would like to respond to Stephen Moore's Oct. 5 Commentary column, "Immigration as a foreign asset." Mr. Moore advocates an amnesty program similar to President Clinton's demand for amnesty for 2 million illegal aliens.
Amnesty is bad policy.
We have learned from the 1986 amnesty that amnesty does not end our illegal-immigration problem. It actually precipitates even more illegal immigration, as people are encouraged in the belief that if they can just elude the U.S. Border Patrol and stay underground for a few years, they eventually will get amnesty themselves. A large-scale amnesty could plunge us into a new immigration crisis.
Amnesty is unfair to the millions of aliens who are waiting outside the country for their turn to come legally to the United States. Amnesty sends the message: "Do not respect our laws. If you come to the United States illegally, you will be rewarded." Through amnesty, we are keeping law-abiding applicants out of the country while giving legal resident status to lawbreakers.
Amnesty invites fraud. It is extremely easy for aliens to purchase documents that show they have resided in the United States since a given date. The 1986 amnesty program was rife with fraud. It is widely known that aliens purchased packets of documents showing they had been in the United States for the required length of time.
One criminal investigation, Operation Desert Deception, found that 22,000 amnesty applications had been filed just by one arranger. Of those, 5,500 applications were determined to be fraudulent and 4,400 were suspected of being fraudulent.
Any amnesty program punishes legal immigrants by greatly increasing the time it takes for them to obtain visas for their family members abroad. Once illegal immigrants are given amnesty and lawful permanent residence, they can petition for visas for their family members increasing by years the backlog of petitions. Largely because of the 1986 amnesty, permanent residents have to wait four to six years to obtain visas for their wives and husbands.
LAMAR SMITH
Chairman
Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims
Committee on the Judiciary
U.S. House of Representatives

Arabs on West Bank are bloodied but unbowed

The Arabs west of the Jordan River may be divided, but they most assuredly are not conquered, as your map titled "Divided and Conquered" would suggest (A13, Oct. 4). Arabs who remained within Israel when it was established in 1948 are citizens of Israel. There are Israeli Arab political parties and Israeli Arab members of Knesset.
Arabs ended up under Israeli authority (in 1948 and 1967) as a result of Arab wars against a Jewish state in the Middle East and successful Israeli defense of its sovereignty. At no time did Israel set out to conquer Arabs and bring them under Israeli rule. The entire current peace process is, in fact, an attempt by Israel to remove its governance from non-Israeli Arabs under secure circumstances and the continuing inability of those Arabs to accept a solution that includes respect for a sovereign Jewish state.
SHOSHANA BRYEN
Silver Spring

Can gridlock be fixed through 'fair' policies?

I would like to comment on the article "Right and wrong ways of attacking gridlock" by M. Anthony Carr (Sept. 29). I took Mr. Carr's advice, and checked out the Web sites www.fairus.org and www.endgridlock.net. Happily, they are both in agreement on one point that population growth is of significant importance as a contributing cause of gridlock, sprawl, etc. Mr. Carr's solution seems to focus on quickly building the infrastructure that we should have built years ago. The approach of the Federation of American Immigration Reform is more directed at reducing population growth. Nowhere on FAIR's site did I see attacks on immigrant persons, as Mr. Carr implies, though I did see a very strong indictment of an impractical, and outdated federal immigration policy.
My suggestion would be to follow both approaches infrastructure development and population growth stabilization. Then, once the infrastructure projects are completed, we can invite even more folks to come live in our country.
Do not all nations control and limit immigration?
TOM SLECKMAN
San Francisco

Is the House taking a chance on internet gambling regulations?

As members of the amateur sports community, we are compelled to respond to Lisa S. Dean's distorted analysis of the federal Internet gambling prohibition legislation, H.R. 3125, pending before the U.S. House of Representatives ("Policing the Internet," Op-Ed, Sept. 25). The National Collegiate Athletic Association strongly supports this legislation because of the tremendous threat Internet gambling poses to the integrity of our games and to the welfare of the athletes on the playing field.
Miss Dean obviously is not aware that gambling on college and professional sports is prohibited in nearly every state. Despite this prohibition, offshore Internet gambling operators continue to skirt existing laws that were enacted long before the advent of the Internet, and the problem is growing at an exponential rate. In 1997, there were fewer than 50 Internet gambling sites; today there are more than 800. We are baffled how Miss Dean can conclude that H.R. 3125 is a "fraud" in banning gambling on the Internet. Today, nearly all gambling on the Internet is either on sports or on casino games. H.R. 3125 expressly prohibits both activities and provides a strong enforcement mechanism to attack the problem.
Miss Dean also is way off the mark when she argues that this prohibition is a dangerous precedent with regard to federal "content" regulations of the Internet. With respect to sports gambling, the question is: Why should a new communications medium, the Internet, be used to circumvent existing laws, including the Wire Act of 1961 and the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, that prohibit such activity? The answer is it shouldn't.
Opponents such as Miss Dean frequently have resorted to scare tactics by asserting that H.R. 3125 will "erode" individual liberties and result in an overzealous monitoring of Internet users' activities by law enforcement. Nothing could be further from the truth. If Miss Dean had thoroughly reviewed the legislation, she would have discovered that the bill targets only Internet gambling businesses, not individual users. Furthermore, if you follow Miss Dean's logic, law enforcement should be prevented from stopping all other illegal activity over the Internet, even the sale of illicit drugs. Surely, none of us wants the Internet to become a haven for illegal activity.
Finally, this legislation has been crafted delicately over the past 3* years. During this period, Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte and Sen. Jon Kyl have met with nearly every interested party and made numerous improvements to their respective bills. However, make no mistake: The majority of those who oppose this legislation are the same people who want to cash in on the lucrative Internet gambling business. At a time when young people are losing thousands of dollars gambling on college and professional games via the Internet, Mr. Goodlatte and Mr. Kyl should be commended, not ridiculed, for trying to put an end to this illegal activity.
CEDRIC W. DEMPSEY
President
The National Collegiate Athletic Association
Washington

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