Tuesday, May 21, 2013

An Open Letter to the US Senate

To our readers, the following letter has been sent to each of our 100 senators -


I served as the first Immigration Director of the Legalization Program which became the 1986 Immigration Reform Act. My experiences and the experiences of thousands of Immigration employees engaged in the implementation at that time are being shared in an effort to enhance legislation currently being considered.

INSideINS and other Blogs are serving as forums for comments and "lessons learned" and have provento be extremely helpful in digesting the concerns and proposals presently being discussed by Congress.

With this letter I wish to bring to your attention what I believe are the most compelling issues from a law enforcement standpoint, which if ignored could prove fatal to the successful implementation of your efforts.

Many of these issues were in fact compromised during the 1986 implementation resulting in extremely highlevels of fraud and contributed to the need today to repeat another amnesty program.

Please consider the following:

  • The administration and implementation of any legislation, including review of applications and interviewing of applicants must be conducted by officials within the US government, not by persons outside government. (During implementation of the 1986 Act this responsibility was abdicated by the government and given to Voluntary Organizations. We found, as a result, that fraud became prevalent within that environment.)

  • Persons who have shown complete disregard for immigration laws by reentering the U.S. after having been formally deported, or have engaged in smuggling of aliens, or arranged or entered into marriage fraud should not be eligible for benefits from new legislation. 

  • Persons who have stolen or used the identities of others to obtain government benefits or services should not be eligible for benefits from new legislation.

  • Persons who have failed to report income to the IRS or who fraudulently claim dependents for tax purposes should not be eligible for benefits from this legislation.

Senator, since as in most cases no printed records will exist of these violations, each of the above infractions and crimes must be determined through in-depth interviews by trained government agents and not relegated to community volunteers. If nothing else matters, this responsibility must be retained by government.

Thank you for your interest.


Ben Ferro,
District Director, Retired

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