Dear sirs,

In your February 28 issue I found the juxtaposition of “Instant Prisoner” and “In Pakistan, She Would Be Dead” interesting.

Based on these stories we see the immigration service is big, complex, confused, inept, and on different pages in different books. Well, that’s why it’s called a bureaucracy. It was far from perfect in 1900, in 1940, in 1980 and isn’t perfect now.

But I also see the other side, the immigrants. And what I see in both of your examples are people who pick and choose the laws they will obey. They both “job” the system. Neither seems to think it their responsibility to follow the rules simply because they are the rules.

One enters the country illegally and stays two years without papers. The other gets an extension to gain work experience, works “part-time” for three months, and spends the next four months meeting a woman, moving, and marrying. Luckily his new wife has a residence card.

Meanwhile other people from these countries who follow the rules and apply at our embassy in their home country are pushed back in the queue by those who come in as students, visitors, or relatives and do not leave.

Thomas W. Scheuer