Did Sun's visa series distort the efforts of lawyers, immigrants?
The Sun's series regarding the H1-B visa program is a gross distortion of the program's customary operation, the role immigration lawyers play in it and of the role of immigrants in today's global economy ("The Visa Venders," Feb. 20-21).
As partners in an immigration law practice, we can attest that the vast majority of firms that recruit and employ H1-B professionals do so to fulfill needs that cannot be satisfied by retraining existing workers.
Employment and education visas come with restrictions intended to ensure that the U.S. job market is not excessively burdened. These restrictions are designed precisely to address the fears The Sun's article is designed to raise.
The article's characterization of the professional and political role played by immigration lawyers in the H1-B process borders on the libelous.
Fees charged for H1-B visas vary greatly, according to the size and other resources of the firm in question. Many firms, including our own, obtain these visas for immigrants at rates far below those the article cited as a service to both the immigrant and the hiring employer.
The article's suggestion that the program somehow subverts capitalism in America could not be further from the truth. If anything is socialistic, it's the concept of rationing domestic employment to maintain low domestic interest rates and low-wage pools of foreign workers.
And if anything is progressive, it is the goal of ensuring that nationals of all countries can work anywhere in the world that they choose.
The Sun's article used the sins of a few to unjustly tarnish the good deeds of the many. In the process, it did a tremendous disservice to many fine professionals and small and large employers who work conscientiously to help immigrants build the American dream for all of us.
No less important is the damage that the article did to the well-deserved reputation of a great American newspaper.
Cynthia B. Rosenberg Stephen R. Rourke Baltimore
The writers are principals with the law firm of Rourke & Rosenberg.
. . . or expose fraud that hurts U.S. workers?
I want to commend The Sun for its the outstanding articles regarding abuse within the American immigration system ("The Visa Venders," Feb. 20-21).
I'm fed up with special interest groups like cheap-labor advocates and immigration lawyers who will do anything to promote their agenda, no matter what the cost to the American people.
As a computer programmer for a large pharmaceutical company, I've found that not only do the imported high-tech gurus not know the computer languages they claim to, but their communication skills are abysmal. They often lack the ability to speak and write effectively in English.
Who suffers? The American workers they were hired to help, who are forced to pick up the slack.
Kudos, again, for the great public service The Sun provided by exposing immigration fraud.
Clearer rationale needed for Balkan intervention
I was in the audience when Gen. Wesley K. Clark addressed the Baltimore Council on Foreign Relations and was impressed with his dedication to NATO and Operation Allied Force ("Why NATO can't go away," editorial, Feb. 24).
However, before we send more service personnel to Kosovo, Congress must address this matter.
Commitment of troops and armaments is a constitutional matter, just as last year's NATO bombing mission should have been. An army is not a police force, and a police force shouldn't be Marines.
As someone who remembers the damage the Vietnam war did to the fabric of our nation, I deplore any "mission creep" in the Balkans.
We must have a clear, achievable objectives there and an exit strategy.
The nebulous goal of democracy in Belgrade and a trial for Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is insufficient to risk lives or the polarization of U.S. citizens.
His appeal to independents could make McCain a winner
Am I the only interested outsider to be amused by the Republican Party's continued waltz with "dumb and dumber."
The party's leadership is going around saying haughtily that Texas Gov. George W. Bush got this large Republican vote in Michigan and Sen. John McCain won with a heavy crossover vote of independents and Democrats.
They should be delighted. They should say "George, old pardner, see you around."
Don't these people see that they would probably do much better in November with a nominee who can relate to those independents and Democrats, not just dyed-in-the-wool Republicans?
Ocean View, Del.
On March 7, support reform of campaign system
Our political system has become the best one money can buy. Silver dollars are influencing legislators more than reasoned debate and silver tongues.
Bill Bradley and John McCain are the only candidates who have seriously addressed campaign finance reform.