Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2007

Act on out-dated immigration laws

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In her letter (‘‘We must respect the law,” Aug. 15), Alice Wahl, commenting about a recent immigration raid, says that those who break the law must expect to pay for their misdeeds.

Immigrants who are here without papers are here because we want them to work, but won’t give them a legal opportunity to do so. For immigrants who work in low-skilled jobs, there are 5,000 visas per year. We hire about 400,000 per year.

The law governing the number of visas we give out each year has not been updated in almost 20 years. It is Congress’ job to fix broken laws. Recently, Congress decided to put off this work. So, the people who are committing the crime of providing for their families without the proper papers will continue to suffer the stigma of illegal immigration because Congress can’t be bothered to update our laws and give these people a chance to do the work we want them to do with a proper visa.

It is not a case of bad people violating good laws. It is a case of good people running afoul of out-dated laws and a Congress too politically paralyzed to do the nation’s business.

Christina DeConcini, Bethesda