We think the premise of ILW.COM's editorial, that supporting the
war is will be good for immigrants, is mistaken. Putting to one side the
merits of the war, your editorial risks the very harms you complain
about, namely, connecting immigrants with a particular point of view. While
you are right to point out that in times of war immigrants often stand
accused of lacking patriotism, not all supporters of patriotism are pro-war.
In fact, a poll released today on New York One shows that by a 51-35% margin, residents of New York oppose the current war. It is quite possible that antiwar patriots could use your editorial as evidence that Bush's war is being waged on behalf of immigrants, especially those from countries the support Bush's war effort or appear, in the eyes of antiwar patriots, to
stand to benefit from the war. Given the heated political climate in New York City (and the rest of the country) the best course for immigration advocates is to refrain from taking a position on the war, just as you would do not (we assume) take positions on abortion, the separation of church and
state or the death penalty. None of this, however, should be taken as a
criticism of your right, as editor of ILW.COM, to take a pro war stance. But if
you choose to do so you should do it on the merits, rather than arguing that such a stance will help immigrants. We do not think it will.
Robert A. Kahn
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