Immigrants Bring A Wealth Of Talent. Don't Cut Them Off

In your Mar. 13 editorial, "Populism: Take the good, lose the ugly," I was surprised to see a mainstream publication such as BUSINESS WEEK write "perhaps reducing the very high level of legal immigration while the country absorbs the current wave is called for."

It is unfortunate that a pro-business journal such as yours would express such sentiments, particularly since immigrants are disproportionately entrepreneurs, scientists, and engineers.

Over one-quarter of all the advanced workers in Silicon Valley are Chinese immigrants, while 40% of the scientists in AT&T's Bell Laboratories' science wing are foreign-born. In fact, the ratio of foreign-born to native-born individuals with PhDs in engineering, from which the next wave of innovators will emerge, is now 1 to 1.

Reducing the number of legal immigrants would inhibit innovation and entrepreneurship at precisely the moment America needs them the most.

Jack Kemp


Alexis de Tocqueville Institution

Arlington, Va.