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Dear Editor:
ILW.COM's editorial was inspiring and eloquent. Thanks. It is vital that friends of immigration not willingly abandon the issue of American national security to our opponents who are only too eager to brand us as unpatriotic. Those who think that national security is not our concern live in a dream world. Only a secure and prosperous America will be generous enough and emotionally secure enough to support an expansive immigration policy. A defensive, frightened nation seeking to protect itself against unseen threats lurking in the shadows is unlikely to be much interested in bringing in more immigrants or making life pleasant for those here. Those who argue that Iraq is not our concern, that we should not become involved, that we should react to events rather than seek to control them are basically saying two things. One is that our primary concerns are domestic and that the world beyond our shores is only secondary. At bottom, this is a profoundly Fortress America mindset that feeds our historic ambivalence on immigration and provides an intellectual respectability to the isolationist tendencies that always lurk below the surface, ready to emerge in times of crisis. Second, the very notion of being proactive is rejected. This is an implicit admission of defeat, an acceptance of powerlessness and a reinforcement of our own national admission as victims of, rather than actors in, history. History becomes something that happens to us. This mentality will never allow the targeted use of immigration as a cornerstone of American economic policy and that is a loss which impoverishes all of us.

Gary Endelman
Houston, TX



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