The position taken in your editorial "American Sanctuary" (April 8), advocating passage of the Moakley-DeConcini legislation granting extended voluntary departure to El Salvadorans and Nicaraguans illegally in this country is wrong.
The proposed ill-founded legislation would attract additional illegal entrants and undermine the comprehensive and orderly system created by the Refugee Act of 1980 and the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA).
For many reasons, including the legalization (amnesty) provisions of IRCA, it is wholly inappropriate to draft country-specific legislation that skirts the purpose of that law and would act as a magnet to attract countless new illegal entrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua and other Central American countries. Among those applying for legalization, the second largest number is from El Salvador, and the seventh is Nicaragua.
In the case of El Salvador, the immigration policy implications of suspension of deportation are enormous. It is a country with a history of large-scale illegal immigration to the United States.