I thank the author for his clear front-page article ``Surge in Immigration to US Raises Public Anxiety, Spurs a Showdown in Congress,'' Dec. 17: I myself am an immigrant, but from a different era (1954), and also a refugee from Indonesia.
I would welcome a waiting list, reduced quotas, health examinations, sponsors who would be financially responsible for those immigrants whom they support, an English requirement so that immigrants can find jobs in the United States, and a five-year residency requirement, which is essential for citizenship. The US should also revoke the right of citizenship for anyone born in the US to foreign parents.
We do not need more people to furnish jobs; there are enough unemployed to illustrate that. I do hope that former US Rep. Barbara Jordan (D) of Texas - whom the president appointed to search for answers on immigration reform - comes to the right conclusions and solutions. Instead of immigration, we should encourage birth control and family planning - the lack of such programs is at the root of the problem. Afke L. Doran, Silverton, Ore. Separation of church and state
Regarding the opinion-page article `` `Wall of Separation' Outmoded,'' Nov. 26, an interview with Ronald Thiemann, dean of the Harvard Divinity School: The separation of church in the [United States] Constitution is not a matter of religion. It is a protection of democracy, a protection against despotism.
The Founding Fathers were aware of the despotic powers of Rome from about the fourth or fifth centuries to the 18th century and were adamant in preventing any religious group from gaining a toehold in government.
This provision has worked well for more than 200 years. Don't let wishy-washy liberalism defeat this powerful protection of democracy. Ede Osborn, Victoria, B.C.