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Ongoing Immigration Is Harmful to Society

March 22, 2003

Your March 16 editorial urging improved border security against terrorists and other illegal immigrants is welcome, but you don't acknowledge that legal immigration is also an enormous problem. There's far too much of it.

You seem to be blinkered by the weary cliche that we are a "nation of immigrants." As the grandson of immigrants, I recognize that what has always made the U.S. an immigration magnet is the ordered liberty of the civil society created by the founding fathers, not the works of prior immigrants who also came to partake of that society.

You should think anew about immigration: What are we trying to accomplish with it and what should the numbers be? On the latter question, the American public is far ahead of our political and media elites in recognizing that times have changed; poll after poll reveals large majorities of us want massive reductions in immigration. If you carefully consider the effects -- environmental, economic and sociocultural -- of mass immigration, you will reach the same conclusion.

Paul Nachman

Redondo Beach

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Our border situation is so far out of control that there is a virtual war being waged by drug dealers and human smugglers. Border Patrol agents and park rangers are under fire, with a number of deaths recorded. There are almost weekly reports of the deaths of smuggled illegals, packed like sardines in trucks and cars that have crashed during chases by law enforcement.

The new alignment of the Border Patrol under the Department of Homeland Security will not make a great deal of difference, as Border Patrol agents are resigning faster than the replacements are being implemented. The Bush administration seems unwilling to use the Army to assist the overwhelmed Border Patrol.

Byron Slater

San Diego

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