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Readers Respond

Time to declare a moratorium on immigration

Regarding Thomas Schaller's recent column on Americans' attitudes toward immigrants, if I were unemployed I would most likely be hostile to immigrants too ("Hostility to recent immigrants a long American tradition," July 10). If I had been loyal to my country, been born here and served in the military, I would not be grateful to have a million new legal immigrants every year taking jobs me or my fellow natural-born citizens could have filled.

Even more importantly, it definitely would not make me happy if they took those jobs at a lower wage that seemed munificent to new immigrants from an impoverished nation.

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Unlimited immigration was fine in the 1800s, when the country was empty and needed strong backs to build railroads and till virgin soil. But eventually the country decided to digest the new immigrants and passed the Immigration Act of 1924 limiting immigration. The country said, "That's enough for now, let's absorb the new people we already have."

Now, however, we no longer need strong backs to fill up an empty country. We are pretty full now seeing as how our unemployment rate is running at over 8 percent. We would do well to have a moratorium on immigration until the unemployment rate decreases.

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We should remember that while the per-capita GDP of the US is $46,000, the per capita GDP of Mexico is just $10,000. There are 4 billion people in the rest of the world who live in countries that have a per capita GDP less than Mexico's.

Are we prepared to allow those 4 billion into the U.S? Will that help our unemployment? As it is now we allow in close to a million legal immigrants every year and we have to provide jobs for them. It is time to limit immigration as in 1924, in order to absorb the immigrants we have now. Perhaps we could start by limiting future immigration to just professors of political science.

Dana Ely, Fulton


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