- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 3, 2000

Cited study on immigration not all rosy

When a representative of the National Immigration Forum writes about immigration facts, as Frank Sharry did on Jan. 28 ("America is stirring a successful melting pot," Letters), fasten your seat belts and hold on tight. You are about to cut a lot of corners.

Mr. Sharry misrepresented the findings of the National Academy of Sciences' (NAS) study on immigration. He stated that the study showed that an immigrant pays more in taxes than he or she receives in benefits. That obfuscates the more meaningful findings of the study that real wages for some of our poorest people have fallen because of competition from immigrants and that American taxpayers must dig into their pockets to subsidize government services for immigrants.

Specifically, the NAS study points to the example of California, where native-born taxpayers subsidize services to immigrants to the tune of $1,178 per household. Nationwide, the study found that native-born households must shell out $166 to $226 in extra taxes per year to subsidize the immigrant population.

Of course, the size of that subsidy depends on the size of the immigrant population. Because that population increases by about 1 million persons a year, the cost no doubt has risen since the NAS calculation. The size of the subsidy also depends on the range of government programs extended to the immigrant community. New proposals by the administration to restore welfare benefits to newly arrived immigrants whose support under the law is supposed to be assured by their sponsor also would raise the costs of immigration to the American taxpayer.

DAN STEIN

Executive director

Federation for American Immigration Reform

Washington

Maryland governor goes national to fire potshots at gun owners

Maryland's governor has done it again. On Saturday the overtly liberal Parris N. Glendening had the audacity to insult law-abiding residents of the so-called Free State.

"CBS Evening News" aired a story about the Carroll County Republican Party's auction of a Beretta 9mm handgun. How dare Mr. Glendening call it irresponsible and a travesty that a perfectly legal firearm was raffled to a law-abiding resident. Like the state doesn't have enough of an image problem without our governor insulting its citizens on national television.

The last I heard the right to bear arms still exists in this country, although I'm sure Mr. Glendening would rather have a totalitarian society with no private gun ownership. That's why our forefathers were intelligent enough to write the Second Amendment.

However, Mr. Glendening believes himself smarter. That is why he and his cohorts blame our gun violence problems on an inanimate object instead of on the criminals themselves. I am tired of being told I'm a bad person because I choose to protect myself and my family the way I see fit.

In response, I have learned you can't trust a Democrat once he is in office. I hope others take my lead and refuse to vote for people like Mr. Glendening people who take advantage of both the state and the U.S. Constitution.

THOMAS G. ATKINS

Baltimore

Pakistan Embassy responds to column of Indian propaganda

Amos Perlmutter's Jan. 24 commentary, "Playing a dangerous game," is unbalanced and lopsided and views the situation in South Asia through the Indian prism. He even uses the phraseology the Indian government has employed as part of its well-conceived propaganda campaign to malign and discredit Pakistan. To our surprise, he portrays the Kashmiri struggle for freedom as a "proxy war" while glossing over the massive killings in Kashmir by Indian troops.

Mr. Perlmutter highlights the views of Indian critics who find the Vajpayee government's attitude toward Pakistan "soft." The Bharatiya Janata Party-led Indian government launched a vicious campaign, based on unfounded allegations, to implicate Pakistan in the recent hijacking incident. They are escalating tensions along the Line of Control with unprovoked attacks and have rejected all overtures of the government of Pakistan for resumption of dialogue. By any stretch of the imagination, can this be called a soft posture?

Mr. Perlmutter is right in one respect, that by attempting to "wait out" the situation in Kashmir the United States is "abandoning its responsibility to the security of South Asia." Indeed, the correct approach to addressing the crisis in South Asia would be to engage Pakistan and India in order to facilitate resolution of all outstanding issues, including the core issue of Kashmir.

SOHAIL MAHMOOD

First secretary

Embassy of Pakistan

Washington

More examples of 'No duty to protect'

This is in response to Kenneth Smith's Jan. 20 Op-Ed column, "No duty to protect." Two years ago, when I was working for the Immigration and Naturalization Service in one of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods in the District, representatives of the police department paid us a visit to discuss security and personal safety after a murder had been committed across the street from our building.

What was most memorable about that meeting was the D.C. police officers informing us that the police department had no duty to protect residents or workers in the city. We were stunned by that statement. The police officers went on to say that their job was to patrol the city, investigate crime, protect public property and perform many other police duties, but not to protect private citizens. Protection for private citizens by the police department was considered to be equivalent to having private bodyguards for protection. This simply was something they were not allowed to do.

The officers acknowledged that protecting yourself from a mugging or other serious assault was next to impossible because the city did not allow residents to own firearms and other means were not as effective. They winked at us and further said that it might be better to face a weapons charge than to be raped or killed, but they also couldn't endorse that, either. What a meeting.

Afterward, the employees present realized that they were on their own for protection in a city that is more concerned with politics than anything else.

So a word to the wise: Don't count on the Metropolitan Police Department for protection, because you won't get it. Protect yourself and hope for the best. I still work in the District, and I remind myself of this meeting every time I enter the city.

DARRELL COOPER

Fredericksburg, Va.

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I read with great interest, and I must say shock and dismay, Kenneth Smith's column regarding the victims of crime. I had a similar experience. One of my best friends filed for divorce from a husband who had a history of verbal abuse and showed all the signs of progressing toward physical abuse.

One night, he telephoned her (and subsequently me) and threatened her (and then me during a later call).

That evening, my friend and I along with an attorney went to court. My friend was able to get a judge to sign an emergency protective order. This was a court order to keep her husband from even calling her. A violation of the order carried immediate jail time. The local sheriff's department tried for more than a week to serve the order, going only to the husband's residence. He didn't answer the door. No attempt was made to serve the order at work or to ensure that he was not really at home and just not coming to the door.

Luckily, he did not harm my friend or anyone else. Mr. Smith's column, however, is a chilling reminder of what can happen. Thank you for the column and for bringing public attention to this important matter.

BRYAN BOLING

Lexington, Ky.

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