Letters

Immigration in the aftermath of Sept. 11

Regarding your Nov. 25 article "Immigrants pour into US, unabated by war on terror": A fundamental problem in immigration and the issuance of visas by the State Department is that the foreign service officers who adjudicate visa applications are among the least experienced.

The State Department finds it necessary to require all junior officers to serve a consular tour of duty before they can be granted tenure in the foreign service. These junior officers are put to work as consular officers after 26 days of training. It is not unusual at smaller posts for the junior consular officer to be working independently, without close supervision.

Additionally, management of immigration is divided between two federal agencies: Consular officers are members of the State Department's foreign service, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service is currently in the Department of Justice, but will be transferred to the new Department of Homeland Security. Coordination at the working level is spotty at best.

Until 1924, the consular service was not a part of the foreign service, but a separate organization, so there is precedent for separating it from the foreign service. It would serve its purpose better if it were integrated with the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
J.H. de Raat
Amsterdam

In response to "Immigrants pour into US, unabated by war on terror": Businesses that hire the labor and benefit from growth in numbers oppose reducing immigration. Unfortunately, these groups want cheap domestics and gardeners so as not to pay a fair wage to fellow Americans.

In California, which bears the brunt of immigration, it becomes clear that the result is a generational betrayal.

In another decade, more than 1 million students will be added to today's 6 million, and "affordable housing" will be paid in future tax dollars.

Today's greedy generation is burdening future generations with declining quality of life and a mandate to pay for it.
Maggie Art
Carmel, Calif.

Regarding "Immigrants pour into US, unabated by war on terror": If, after living side by side with the US for two centuries, Mexico - and for that matter Latin America - remain in disarray, it is because the US has exploited them.

The US is hated because of the way it treats the world, especially economically. Its moral power has been replaced by force power. Its thirst for oil is a mistaken policy.
H.D. Schmidt
Loma Linda, Calif.

Regarding your Nov. 19 editorial "Foreign students, all clear": You correctly identify international students in the US as an endangered species and bring attention to the enormous challenge the Student Exchange Visitor Information System creates for higher education. The burden to comply by Jan. 30 is huge; it is, however, essential that we help secure the homeland in the aftermath of Sept. 11.

I want to correct the impression that English-language schools are "likely to lose track of students who entered the US under false pretenses." University English programs work closely with well-qualified international student advisers to track students, assist them in maintaining their lawful status, and advise them of the repercussions of any failure to do so.

I appreciate your pointing out that international education in this country is a major export. An education in the US is still the dream of students throughout the world, and it should continue to be a part of our dream as Americans to make this possible for them.
Russell Clark
Chicago
English Language Academy Director

DePaul University

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