First, Let's Absorb The Immigrants We've Got
How many people can the U.S. accommodate before it finds itself, like China, in a situation where it is forced to try draconian methods to reduce its population? ("The Immigrants," Cover Story, July 13). In California, the population is now over 30 million; 50 million by the year 2000 has been predicted. Half of this growth has been attributed to immigrants. Population growth is the great enemy of the environment (clogged freeways, smoggy skies, inadequate water supplies, etc.).
As the son of immigrant parents, I have hesitated to advocate severe limits on immigration. Now, however, I recognize that what I owe my children outweighs my debt to my father's memory. We must stabilize our own population before opening the gates.
The tragedy is that by substantially reducing and enforcing immigration levels we could reduce social tensions and costs, more effectively assimilate the legal immigrants who are here, and begin to address the training, employment, and other issues that affect our own unskilled workers. We might even be more willing as a nation to encourage trade and aid that Third World countries need to offer opportunities to their own nationals.
George B. High
Center for Immigration Studies