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Dear Editor:
If as, Justin indicates in his letter, truly believes what he says about taking an unbiased look at immigration, then he should begin by examining his own claim about "anti-immigration" groups who want to end immigration even though it is "an important factor in our prosperity as a nation." First, not all who he labels "anti-immigration" (me included) want to totally end immigration. Some do, some want "time outs", some admissions reduced to historic levels, and probably all of us an end to illegal immigration. Second, his blanket assertion that immigration is an important factor in our prosperity as a nation. Not all "immigration" is equal or desirable. Yes, immigration of large numbers of unskilled workers was sustainable, even desirable, in the past, when the labor force was comprised mainly of such workers and when the US did not have a large entitlement component to it. Today, one has only to read reputable or even "pro-immigration" newspapers such as the New York Times or Wall Street Journal to find reporting about hospitals in immigrant-heavy states going under because of uninsured (and often illegal) immigrants, immigrants relying on welfare and charity (the NY Times "neediest cases" during the holidays), and school systems such as those in Florida who cannot afford the construction and instruction needed to give students a quality education because of massive immigration of children. For formal academic analysis of the costs of immigration, you might also see work by Harvard's George Borjas. And what about the many older professional workers who suffer age discrimination, a practice enabled by visas such as H1-B? Record unemployment among programmers, IT types and other engineers, and depressed wages, but the industry still claims it needs to import H1-Bs. By the way, if "immigration" is such an important factor in our prosperity, why is it now, at a time of perhaps the highest immigration (and continuing high illegal immigration) we have ever had, and at the end of a decade of massive immigration, we are also experiencing some of the worst economic times and worst employment conditions we've had in a decade? The causal association between immigration and prosperity is pretty darn weak, and that's a statement based on the facts.

Ali Alexander



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