In Germany, the problem is not regulated immigration, as practiced in the U.S. with rigidity, but the de facto unlimited influx of people from other countries seeking asylum ("Unsung heroes," European Business, Feb. 28). In the past few years, we have had at least 100,000 asylum applications--not including refugees from the Balkans. Of these, however, only 3% to 5% are eligible for legal recognition for asylum. All the rest have economic reasons for coming to Germany, and they stay on illegally after exhausting all legal remedies. These people are de facto immigrants but without any selection of needed skills for the labor market.

As long as there is no effective limitation of asylum abuse, there can be no room for additional regulated immigration. That has nothing to do with hostility against foreigners. Although we are a democracy, this problem can't be discussed openly, because a minority, which commands the media, calls those racist who dare to express a different opinion.

Alexander Reiter

Kirchzarten, Germany

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