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Letters to the Editor

March 04, 1999

Time to restrict immigration

To the editor:

As America flounders in traffic jams and all kinds of environmental problems and our leaders scramble futilely with various plans for "smart growth," let us turn our attention to the root of the problem - unsustainable population growth. Sixty percent of our annual population growth is due to immigration. And now we have a golden opportunity to moderate this excessive influx.

We can urge our representative in Congress to co-sponsor the "Mass Immigration Reduction Act (HR 41) recently introduced by Representative Bob Stump of Arizona. This calls for a firm cap of 100,000 a year. Currently, over a million immigrants enter our country every year.

Not only does immigration contribute to population growth and the resultant environmental degradation, but it also has severe economic and budgetary consequences for the United States. According to Donald Huddle of Rice University, immigration cost U.S. taxpayers a net of $69 billion in 1997, after subtracting the taxes paid by immigrants. Immigration results in losses to U.S. workers as well. Professor George Borjas of Harvard University finds that immigration drives down the wages of competing workers, resulting in losses of $133 billion in annual costs to U.S. workers.

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Virtually every poll conducted in the last five years indicates a majority of Americans support reductions in immigration. In fact, a majority of Americans support a five-year moratorium on all legal immigration, according to a Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll.

Let's call upon Congress for positive action.

Marguerite Snyder

Knoxville

Pension fix just a trick

To the editor:

After reading the article by Robert Samuelson a couple of weeks ago and more recent articles in your paper, I have come to the conclusion that President Clinton is trying to snow the taxpaying public.

The crisis of Social Security that Clinton says is happening is really of the government's own making, by a misleading accounting procedure that takes the surplus paid into Social Security Fund and rolls over into the general fund. In return, the Social Security Fund gets treasury bonds and securities.

In other words, the Social Security fund gets worthless paper instead of the money paid by the taxpayers. At present, the Treasury owes the Social Security fund a total of $1.8 billion and that total will go up in the future. If this is Clinton's idea of shoring up Social Security seems to be taking money from Peter to pay Paul. I think that the public should let their congressmen know that we won't tolerate this kind of fraud.

John Wade

Frederick, Md.

Don't rank equal crimes

To the editor:

The West Virginia Lesbian and Gay Coalition is asking the Legislature to amend West Virginia's laws to give special consideration for what they refer to as "hate crimes."

What is a hate crime? The U.S. Department of Justice reports these are crimes motivated by a "negative bias against persons, property, or organizations based solely on sexual orientation, race, religion, ethnicity/national origin, or disability." If a victim of a crime is chosen primarily because of any of these characteristics, it is considered a crime motivated by hate. Hate crime laws give greater weight to these offenses. Here is an illustration:

Joe is assaulted on one side of town. On the other side of town, John is assaulted. All else being equal, if it can be proven that Joe was chosen primarily because he belonged to a certain ethnic group or because he was gay, a federal "hate crime" law would favor him, as a victim, over John. For example, federal officials could be utilized to investigate and prosecute in Joe's case, but not John's. There would also be a likelihood of a more severe punishment for Joe's perpetrator.

I believe in the biblical mandate: to "love your neighbor as yourself," and stand against any form of evil, prejudice, bigotry and violence. I strongly disagree with any law or policy that discriminates against any victims of crime and believe that every citizen should have equal protection under local, state and federal laws. We should all be equal under the law.

Zara Click

Cottageville, W.Va.

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