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`North of the Border'

Clara Germani's otherwise excellent series ``North of the Border'' (Dec. 17-20) erected the old straw man that amnesty for illegal aliens is the only alternative to ``the folly of trying to find them all and deport them.'' There are many other options, all currently in use. Those here illegally may apply for suspension of deportation, for extended voluntary departure, or for political asylum. All these classifications will allow an individual to stay indefinitely, in practice if not in theory. Congress should move something called the Registry Date forward from 1948 to 1970 to provide another way for illegals of very long standing to regularize their status.

Finally, many illegals will simply go home on their own as the supply of jobs for them dries up under employer sanctions.

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This return migration will be gradual, not sudden, since the Simpson-Mazzoli provision applied only to new hires, not those already employed. There is no need to raise the specter of massive deportations. John H. Tanton, chairman Federation for American Immigration Reform Washington

Much has recently been written concerning repressive government in the Republic of South Africa. There have been demonstrations at its consulates. One cannot help but wonder whether all this is Communist-inspired. The majority of black countries in Africa are Marxist repressive dictatorships where majority rule has only the most casual relationship with democracy. In all of the black ``majority''-ruled African countries there has never been a major change in the leadership by the ballot box. Although the government in the Republic of South Africa is certainly repressive, the blacks there have better housing, education, and medical care than anywhere else in Africa. H. G. Oborne Anacortes, Wash.

It took a stinging attack by the Rev. Tutu, winner of a Nobel Prize, to prompt President Reagan to toughen his stand against the racism practices by South Africa. Reference to ``quiet diplomacy'' was really reference to the confirmed habit of foot dragging where human rights are concerned.

Action is clearly needed. Economic sanctions are a practical and reasonable means of accomplishing this. They are more likely to be effective than frowns or mere words. Richard Swerdlin Denton, Texas

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''

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