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Dear Editor:
Mr. Murray claims he doesn't know where I got my statistics or information. Funny, since I cited the sources in the letter, which is certainly more than AILA did in theirs. As for my qualifications, I am a statistician (MBA and PhD, too) and am sometimes paid to present statistical evidence in legal cases involving international trade. Mr. Murray is apparently unaware of the fact that lawyers do make extensive use of "outside" experts, for areas outside their own expertise. Funny, too, that Mr. Murray questions my statements, based on facts, about the contribution of immigrants, but says not one word about the original AILA letter which made the unsubstantiated claim about the value of immigration to the U.S. A classic case of lawyers getting outside their areas of expertise and misusing statistics. As for Mr. Aguiar's letter, the Census data is for households in which at least one head of the household is an immigrant. It is the responsibility of parents to support their children, at least in this country, if not in Ecuador, and part of supporting them is to pay a fair share of taxes. Why on earth should large numbers of immigrants, legal or otherwise, be able to come here, bringing wife and kids, with skills and education only suited to a minimum wage job, pay little or no taxes, have a few more kids (at taxpayer expense) and have children educated (again at taxpayer expense)? With the medical care of the entire family picked up by taxpayers, and subsidies for food, housing, etc. provided? It's simple, if you can't afford to support children, don't have them. Why on earth do you think so many of the countries we receive immigrants from have problems? A big part of it is having too many children--more than the household can support. It is also quite possible that the Census data understate the percentage of immigrants in the US as both legal and illegal immigrants tend not to respond to questionnaires to a greater degree than natives. As for Justin's letter, certainly different ethnic and racial groups in the US earn less than others, but then, why on earth should we import more poverty? Come to that, I'm sure many low-earning native minority families would probably be doing a lot better, if immigration was not disproportionately affecting their ability to earn a decent living. Finally, Ms. Yardum-Hunter's letter. The issue of taxes paid by immigrants was raised by AILA. They imply that paying taxes justifies all immigration. Talk about generalizing. My "broad brush strokes" are nothing compared to those used by AILA. You know, it's interesting that in all these responses to my letter, I haven't seen one shred of solid evidence to refute my statements, it's all opinion. Not even AILA has seen fit to cite the source of the data that they presented in their original letter so that it can be checked.

Ms. Flowers recent article entitled, "Citizens and Patriots: Not One and the Same -- A Commentary" dealt with the fact that many Americans equate "immigrant" with "illegal alien", but how could it be otherwise when many in the media use the term "immigrant" to include not only legal immigrants, but those who are here illegally. This practice tars those here legally with the same brush as those who are not in the minds of the public, rather than legitimizing those who are here illegally. As for the example of Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. Gutierrez obtained legal status by lying about his age. At the time of his death, he was apparently 27, or about 6 years older than he represented himself to be. His death was honorable, but committing immigration fraud wasn't.

Ali Alexander