Illegal immigrants both defy and obey the law
Regarding "IRS seminars, IDs help illegal immigrants pay US taxes (March 21): The illegal immigrant in your story who has lived in the US for 10 years is now filing a tax return to get some of his money back. He says he wants "to be correct with the law." But to comply with our laws, he would have to return to Mexico. The fact that he is unconcerned about having his full name and place of occupation published in a newspaper says a lot about how poorly we enforce our immigration laws.
Thomas P. McKenna
In owning a tenant-screening company, I see fraud from illegal immigrants every day and find many illegals have more than one fake ID and Social Security number. And many have addresses in different states in order to double dip into food stamps and other handout programs. These immigrants are not asking for help with their taxes because they feel obligated to pay. They want to get refunds. I wouldn't be surprised if some try to file claims on years they haven't paid taxes. Our government seems to be just naive enough to give it to them.
Perhaps, a practical solution to the issue of illegal immigration is found in the British system. A concession exists under the British immigration system for illegal immigrants to apply for regularization of their immigration status after 14 years. Surely a similar procedure in the United States would greatly reduce tensions over the increasing acceptance of illegal immigrants here. A system such as this would also establish a defined path to legitimization without the need for recurrent debates about ad hoc and band-aid measures such as amnesty proposals. The present system in the US, a country having millions of undocumented immigrants, fuels the trade in false documents which generates issues regarding proper identification.
Regarding "War on terror demands stricter border laws" (March 18, Letters): Your letters on 245(i) indicate a nonacceptance of immigrants. We should welcome and accept all people, especially those coming from countries which offer so much less than we have offered here in the United States. On the West coast where I live, the immigrants from Central America and Mexico take low-paying jobs, live in crowded and unsanitary conditions, and do jobs Americans won't. They deserve heartfelt thanks and hoorays rather than condemnation as "illegals" not because they do the dirty work, but because they are people and far too many US citizens are set against them.
Oregon City, Oregon
Regarding "Let Japanese women soar" (March 19, Editorial): It is true, foreign companies offer many more career opportunities for women than Japanese companies do. I take no issue regarding this point, and believe it was explained clearly in your editorial. But in giving a full picture of Japan today I must disagree with the ideas presented in the introduction stating that "homelessness remains low." Taking a walk through Ueno Park, or along Sumida River, or even on a trip to the suburbs, you can see that homelessness continues to be an issue.
When you spend time outside Tokyo you see that it is in Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Sapporo, and Nagasaki where Japan is hurting and where you can see block after block of bankrupt establishments. To say that shops and restaurants are crowded and that women carry purchases from Tiffany's is to see the ritzy part of town and declare it representative of the nation.
Andrew J. Nichols
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