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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Should Immigration Reform Be a Priority?

June 19, 2003

I am writing to express my support for your June 16 editorial urging President Bush to restart immigration talks with Mexico's President Vicente Fox. I am from El Salvador, and I understand the hardships one finds in coming to this country without documents. After entering this country undocumented and living here for 13 years, I personally benefited from an immigration program known as "temporary protected status." Now I have fixed my immigration status. I have a permanent job and pay taxes, I own a house and I am the father of a U.S.-born son. I feel that I was given a chance to start my life in this country with protection by the immigration law. I am asking that immigrants without documents be protected, as I was, and their families once and for all be united and safe. I am also urging Bush, as you have, to take the lead and make a real immigration reform this year.

Mayron Payes

Pasadena

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If I were the president of the U.S., I would be worried about how to get the well over 9 million Americans who are out of work back in the harness and not be concerned about how to make illegal immigration easier.

More immigration, both legal and illegal, is making life for many of the poorest Americans harder. If the U.S. can help Mexico get its population growth and poverty under control and keep its people at home, we should talk and assist. Otherwise, I think we need to stop the invasion at the border.

Lee Miller

Stockton

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