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Dear Editor:

In his letter to the editor on 5/13/02, Mr. Baer talks about a solution to the "immigration problem". He then implies that anyone who opposes the present rates of immigration must be biased or xenophobic. Once again I looked up "xenophobia" on Encarta. The definition is: "an intense fear or dislike of foreign people, their customs and culture, or foreign things".

Mr. Baer appears to be so fervent in his own beliefs that he can't accept the fact that there may be valid reasons for wanting to reduce immigration to this country and to enforce the law. In 28 years with the Border Patrol I probably dealt with as many (or more) aliens as has Mr. Baer. I have no fear of them nor their customs or culture. What I do fear is their numbers and the impact on this country. In 2050 we'll have about 400 million people if present trends continue. (If Mr. Baer and those who share his views on immigration are successful, we could have a lot more.) By 2100 we could well be at about 1 billion people. Does anyone really believe that we can accommodate that many people and have any quality of life? Perhaps some don't care since they'll be gone by then. Still, is it moral to impose that on our progeny?

If we're going to talk about a solution to the problem, we're going to have to find some common ground; that includes a halt to assuming that we know what someone else is thinking. If we all continue to insist that the only point of view to be considered is "ours", we're not even going to discuss the "problem", let alone solve it.

John Frecker
Bailey, ME