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Dear Editor:
Justin in his letter to the Editor refuted his own point: it is not immigration which causes prosperity, but a host of other factors which are more important, such as those he enumerated. Two conditions for being able to say there is a causal relationship (i.e., "immigration causes prosperity") are that A (immigration) precedes B (prosperity) and that you can eliminate as causes other factors. Neither applies to immigration. In fact, it may well be the other way around: that relative prosperity causes immigration--for example, even though the economy is not doing well and unemployment is high in the US, immigrants continue to come legally and illegally because conditions are better here than in their homelands. George Borjas has suggested much the same thing in relation to the correlation between immigration and prosperity in various US cities--that immigrants move to locations which are prosperous, not that the locations are prosperous because they are there. For that matter, if immigration truly causes prosperity or is such an important factor in it, why is it that Mexico doesn't throw open its borders to immigrants from the rest of Latin America? Why does India object to its illegal immigrants from Bengladesh?

Ali Alexander



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