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Harvey G. Henderson, Wahpeton, Letter: Writer's concerns don't mesh with facts

I must take exception to some of Kenneth Emmel's comments in the July 12 edition of The Forum ("It's been a century of bad foreign policy"). It is surely an exaggeration to say that the United States is being "overrun by millions of Third Worlder...

I must take exception to some of Kenneth Emmel's comments in the July 12 edition of The Forum ("It's been a century of bad foreign policy"). It is surely an exaggeration to say that the United States is being "overrun by millions of Third Worlders" and "bulging at the seams from overpopulation." Government statistics show that in 2007 there were just over a million people accepted for legal permanent resident status in the United States, 496 in North Dakota. And about 660,000 people became United States citizens by naturalization, 415 of them in North Dakota.

Emmel's concern seems to be about "the invasion of illegals across our southern border, bringing their crime and all their problems with them, changing our very culture." That there are a substantial number of illegal immigrants in the United States is indeed true. That all immigrants are "Third Worlders" and criminals with problems is, of course, not true. The vast majority of immigrants are contributing members of American society, many of them doing jobs for wages that those born in the United States would not accept. And, indeed, many of us benefit from these inexpensive labor costs.

When I look at the state of North Dakota, I fail to see how the influx of immigrants is leading to "overpopulation" or "stressing our resources." State and local leaders tell us that we are suffering from population decline in many areas and there is often a shortage of workers.

As a state we can benefit significantly by welcoming new immigrants, in the same way that our European ancestors were welcomed not so long ago. Cultural diversity makes us stronger. It is not something to be feared.

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