Praise for Ackerson column

Apr 292008
Authors: Letter to the editor

I agree with Mary Ackerson’s “Immigration language fosters racism” that Doug Bruce’s “peasants” statement at the state House was out of line.

However, many of us want to reduce immigration into the U.S. for reasons that have nothing to do with race, or issues about assimilation or language use.

Ackerson touches on one of them, when she discusses her restaurant work. Current high levels of immigration are driving down American wages – including the wages of previous immigrants.

The impacts of too-high immigration levels are hardest on our poorest workers. Harvard economist George Borjas calculates that during the 1980s and 1990s, immigration decreased the wages of low-skilled workers by 7.5 percent.

Many environmentalists also want to reduce U.S. immigration rates. We see how population growth makes difficult environmental problems even harder to solve.

As I read the recently released Environmental Impact Statement giving its approval for Glade Reservoir, I note that this project – which will kill the Poudre River if it is built – is largely justified by future population increases.

The U.S. is on track to double our population, from 300 million to 600 million people, in the next 50 to 60 years. Most of this increase will be due to immigration.

Mary Ackerson is right that racism needs to be fought wherever it rears its ugly head. But the question of proper immigration levels is a separate question.

Phil Cafaro

Associate professor

Philosophy department

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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