Ms. Merritt's letter claims that "Mr. Krikorian clearly does not wish to see immigrants from troubled countries." It is my interpretation of Mr. Krikorian's comments that Mr. Krikorian's concern is not with "troubled countries", but that these countries tend to produce desperate, poorly educated, and low-skilled people who will say or do anything to escape their plight--including commit immigration fraud and commercial fraud.
As for Ms. Merritt's concern with Muslims, and discrimination against them, I probably have at least as much experience in the Arab and Muslim worlds as Ms. Merritt, as well as with Muslim communities here in the US. I also happen to be a statistician, and if I were concerned about terrorism form Muslim jihadists, I certainly wouldn't be looking at Sephardic Jewish immigrants from Russia. That is not to say that I would issue a blanket prohibition against immigration of Muslims, but I would certainly scrutinize them more closely. The diversity lottery allows any and all (with minimal requirements) to apply, and as Mr. Krikorian points out, that favors Muslims, given the prevalence of the religion in the Third World. And while it is admirable that Ms. Merritt is concerned about discrimination against Muslims, unfortunately that religion and the countries it is practiced in are generally not so tolerant of other religions, including Christianity.
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