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Dear Editor:
Yesterday's Immigration Daily's Editor's Comments said, "The presence of a massive US armed force in Iraq would not just obliterate Iraqi support for the terrorists, it would put Syria and Iran - both supporters of terrorists - squarely in our sights." The above statement is somewhat puzzling since the word "terrorists" remains undefined. Many would argue that destroying the power of murderous, expansionist Stalinist is justified for its own sake, but that adding "terrorist" is gratuitous. We never, or hardly ever, label as "terrorists" those who terrorize their own citizens. One might include the invasion of Kuwait as a kind of "state terrorism", but to do so detracts from the very special connotation. Claiming that there is "Iraqi support for terrorists" is conclusory and hardly convincing. You then go on to deny a link between immigration and terrorism. The link is obviously there: it's just not causative. Consular officers know that a certain percentage of visa candidates are lying. They know, statistically, how many from their host country are lying. Unfortunately they don't know, in many or most cases, which ones they are. It isn't much different with asylum hearings, and one is sometimes left with the conclusion -- admitted to me by more than one administrative law judge -- that while s/he "knows that X% of applicants are genuine" s/he doesn't know which ones they are, and winds up ruling on extraneous evidence. Or worse, at random. Today, in fact, demanding "too much" allegiance of immigrants can bring about accusations of racism. There's no help for this: nationality has become a source of rights more than of obligations. With the advent of political equality for women and their acquisition of the right to transmit nationality to offspring, incidence of dual nationality was bound to increase. So: a return to the past is impossible even if we wanted to go there. Yet Americans have always been, and remain today, inclined to point fingers and seek simple solutions to complex political problems. Aside from trying to show your patriotism, I wonder why the Iraq war is relevant to a forum on immigration? True, past wars have all led to massive immigration. But I don't see how one can say that terrorism is not related to immigration, but Iraq is related to terrorism. And if the US is to put "Syria and Iran - both supporters of terrorists" in its sights, then its task is mammoth indeed. But I fear I have run out of space, and don't want to commit the mistake of so many others, including your good selves, of over-simplifying complex problems.

Andrew Grossman, LLB
London, GB

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