The op-ed piece by Peter Morici (“Trump’s immigration proposals would foster a more prosperous, less-divided America,” Oct. 10) contains contradictions, shows bias and is contrary to my own life experience. On the one hand, Mr. Morici refers to the Democrat colander type immigration policy intended "to win cheap electoral advantage.” One certainly couldn't say the same thing of the pronouncements of the present incumbent of the White House. Later in his piece he goes on to refer to the number of immigrants in America having remained fairly static in recent years due in part to "tougher border enforcement having already slowed the flow.” Is this due to just the first months of the Trump presidency's actions on immigration, or is it also due to the eight years of immigration policy under the Democrat Barack Obama presidency, which included large increases in the number of border guards, fixed border barriers and the number of illegal immigrant deportations?
Mr. Morici goes on to say that overall the impact of immigration is positive because it increases labor force growth — a major factor in a country's overall economic growth. He then goes on to say that the skills, or lack thereof, and the effects of cultural collusion of immigrants are integral to the economic outcome of immigration policy. Regarding the cultural outcomes of immigration, Mr. Morici states immigrants tend to settle in clusters and have different lifestyles than ordinary Americans and that this prevents Americans from migrating to other areas of the country, other than their native communities. My problem with this is that it leaves out the likelihood that Americans prefer their own environs because of culture and family connections which he attributes to immigrants, and therefore stay put. Mr. Morici offers an opinion here that can be turned on its head.
Finally, I am a 74-year-old first generation Italian American who has been married to a French woman for 50 years. I look at my experience through those years and chafe at the idea that America can only get a good outcome from immigration if it is limited to "smart" people (I would add that the older I get the more convinced I become that life is a "crap shoot.” Just think of the astronomical odds of even being born). I never knew my immigrant mother. My father served in World War I and retired as a federal worker laborer in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He was a "green horn" until the day he died in his 80s. He was, however, able to pay for a college education for me. To make a long story short, while stationed in the Washington, D.C. area I met my wife who was here for the experience, not for permanent residence. We have produced two American children, both of whom are gifted. Unfortunately our youngest, who is 45, has a profound learning disability. Our oldest does not and he defines the idea of "smart” (I would love to compare his IQ to that of Mr. Trump's). My point is this: I don't think any amount of planning or trying to get only smart immigrants is going to improve outcomes. Again, that is just Mr. Morici's opinion. And I don't agree with it.
I am for border and immigration control that enhance the economic and overall well being of America. I am not for trying to control outcomes because I don't believe it will work, especially when we consider this involves unpredictable human outcomes. Our country is an ongoing open experiment, not a controlled one. So far it has worked. If we can minimize our mistakes and be true to each other, it will continue to be a success.
Joseph Costa, Baltimore
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