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Immigration 'Gone Awry'



Saturday, June 17, 2000; Page A18

"An American Dream That Depends on an American Visa" [Business, June 5], about the plight of Indian entrepreneur Shaurav Sen, probably was meant to tug at the heartstrings: gifted foreigner doing important creative work is thwarted in his efforts to remain in the United States. Instead I read further evidence of our immigration policy gone haywire.

Mr. Sen came to this country on a student visa, a recipient of a full scholarship to an American college. He signed a pledge that he would return home upon graduation. After all, isn't that the noble goal of such scholarships: to empower talented people from developing countries so they may use their know-how when they return to their homelands?

Instead, Mr. Sen violated his pledge and went to work developing advertisements for the Internet. Alas, he has a problem with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. His solution is to reapply for an O-1 visa, a category "reserved for those who have made an 'extraordinary' impact on the American economy in the field of science, education, business, athletics or the arts." Since when does providing ads on the Internet constitute an extraordinary impact?

Mr. Sen obviously has entrepreneurial talents. He should return to India and use them to benefit his people.

TIM AARONSON

El Cerrito, Calif.

© Copyright 2000 The Washington Post Company

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