Omar M. Campbell: Immigration facts and myths

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I know you probably do not have time to watch C-SPAN and all their panels, think tanks, interviews on Washington Journal, etc.

I happened on a panel of economists that were debating a research study and its findings on the effects and impacts of illegals on the economy. They substantially agreed on three points:

The net positive overall effect on the national economy was less than 1 percent;

The group of native Americans most negatively affected by the direct competition for jobs was those with a high school education or less;

With the exception of agriculture, there is practically no job category where there is a definite shortage of people willing to take the jobs.

The Senate Judiciary Com--mittee proposal is no more than a delayed path to amnesty, in a country that is badly overpopulated and fractured by political, cultural-ethnic and religious differences. Your Our View editorial of March 29 seems to reflect the untrue platitudes mouthed by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and President Bush; and by the U.S. Chamber, the National Association of Manufacturers and eager employers in general.

Along with the export of our manufacturing and its jobs, outsourcing, 12 million or so illegals, a cultural disaster of major proportions is imminent. I remember Pat Buchanan, years ago, warning that allowing too many immigrants into the country too fast to be assimilated would lead to ethnic enclaves and general chaos. How prophetic.

I am hoping that we have enough statesmen in Congress to devise a workable border and interior immigration bill. I am not optimistic, however. Politicians of all stripe are far more interested in building a future pool of partisan voters and cheap labor.

Never mind that the real backbone of our country -- the middle class -- is destroyed.

There will be a very small elite class that controls almost all the wealth; a small middle class hanging on; and a very large poverty-ridden under class scrabbling to survive. Sound like Haiti -- or Mexico?

Omar M. Campbell
Steamboat Springs

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