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A friendly lawyer writes from the District of Columbia
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June 27, 2002, 05:00 AM
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A Reader Says We Shouldn`t Be Called "Anti-Immigration."

From:  [ Hispanic] name withheld by request

Good article today about Frank Wu. It was actually the part about immigration policy towards the end that caught my eye. I`m the son of an immigrant myself, but I think the immigration policy here is out of hand (before he became a citizen, my dad had to register at the post office every year, I can`t believe they still don`t require that of foreign nationals, particularly in time of war). I hadn`t read Alien Nation since I was in college and I forgot the part about contacting foreign embassies to see what their immigration policy is. Perhaps the way to reframe the immigration debate is to steal a page from the labor unions who oppose "free trade" by endorsing "fair trade" instead. Instead of "free immigration", let`s support "fair immigration". For every country, we look at what their immigration policy is... and we mirror it.  

We can`t just say, will you take an American? Most Americans are fairly well educated and because social security checks will follow you anywhere, a lot of countries will probably let Americans in.

Rather, what`s the policy toward uneducated immigrants who expect education, welfare and other services when they get to their new home? However your average Guatemalan immigrant is treated in Mexico, so shall we treat your average Mexican immigrant in this country. Then we can say, oh we`re not anti-immigrant, we`re pro-fairness.

June 27, 2002