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Amnesty Not That Important For Frequent Border Crosser With AM-Amnesty Rush, Bjt

May 5, 1988

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Luis Aguilar appeared relaxed Wednesday as he waited to file for amnesty by the midnight deadline for illegal aliens. He said he wasn’t worried whether he would receive amnesty and had no fear of being deported.

After all, he said, he has been deported five times since coming to the United States nine years ago. And he keeps coming back, swimming the Rio Grande.

″I’ve been so long here, I just make myself at home,″ Aguilar said while waiting for his name and number to be called at the Immigration and Naturalization Service office. ″I’ve been here since 1979. I don’t even know who the president of Mexico is.″

Aguilar, 26, was one of hundreds of illegal aliens who waited until the last two days to bring whatever documents they had to the Oklahoma City INS office.

Most of the last-minute applicants cited insufficient documents, money or fear as their reason for procrastinating.

For Aguilar, the reason appeared to be lack of interest.

″If they send me back to Mexico, I figure I can’t stay there,″ he said. ″I’ve spent almost half my life here. The last time I was there, I stayed three days and came back. I figure I belong here.″

Aguilar said he works on a ranch in Konawa, where he earns about $200 a week. He said his wife, Rosie, persuaded him to apply for amnesty, and he was able to squeeze a trip to Oklahoma City into his work schedule.

He met his wife seven years ago while working at a ranch in Seminole County.

″He would get deported, but he always knew where to find me,″ Mrs. Aguilar said. ″One time he came right back three days after he was deported.″

They were married in 1983, and A.J. Irwin, the chief legalization officer at the Oklahoma City INS office, said he was surprised Aguilar didn’t apply for citizenship since his wife, a Seminole Indian, is a U.S. citizen.

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