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Amnesty

April 07, 1988

The precedent-setting Immigration Reform Control Act of 1986, better (or worse) known as the amnesty program, has all the makings of one that will, in its present form, either go down in history as bungled legislation, or if amended will become a living proof of America's basic humane and fair nature.

As a naturalized U.S. citizen of Asian origin, I can fully empathize with the agony, frustration, shock and even anger of thousands, maybe millions, of individuals and whole family units throughout the nation who have been unknowingly and unjustly discriminated upon, and all in the name of amnesty.

Amnesty makes it appear that no more "qualified aliens" entered the country after Jan. 1, 1982--or that all those who came in before the glorious date are better qualified to become candidates for U.S. citizenship. So that the seemingly laudable proposal to "extend" the amnesty deadline is, in the context of true and real amnesty, an exercise in futility.

The INS initially estimated and therefore expected to process 4 million to 5 million illegals by May 4. That only a miserable 1.5 million (terrible miscalculation) have applied is alarming.

And yet it isn't too late to correct this glaring oversight and injustice--by merely expanding the interpretation and implementation of exactly the same mechanics of the program! Let all those illegal aliens who came after Jan. 1, 1982, up to Nov. 6, 1986 (the date when President Reagan signed the law), also be given the same once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Only then can those responsible for this "life-and-death" legislation truly congratulate themselves for extending justice and fairness to all.

JORGE AQUINO

Fountain Valley

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