- The Washington Times - Friday, August 4, 2006

Dubious immigration spin

In a recent op-ed (“Hope on Immigration,” Commentary, Tuesday), Morton Kondracke mentions an immigration poll that he claims shows that “71 percent of likely voters support” an immigration measure that includes a temporary worker program and a path to citizenship for “illegal immigrant adults” and their family members.

Remember when you see an immigration poll that the questions are often designed to get the desired answers.

One question in the poll mentioned by Mr. Kondracke purports to show that most Americans agree with allowing illegal immigrants to become citizens.

However, the last statement in the question describes those who would become citizens as a “temporary workers” not the more accurate “illegal immigrants,” which in other polls yields very different results.

On an issue that is so emotional, sensitive and complex, it is important that factual information be conveyed to your readers.

A more reliable poll taken a few months ago appropriately identified potential guest workers as currently “staying illegally in the United States.” And the results showed that 59 percent of respondents opposed a guest-worker program.

We need more honesty and more facts in the immigration debate, not loaded polls designed to give false impressions.

LAMAR SMITH

Member of Congress

Washington

U.S.-Indian military cooperation

I’m writing in response to the World (Briefing/Western Asia) article on the prestige of the Indian military (“Indian military gaining global prestige,” July 29). The greatest feature of the Indian military (besides its size and nuclear capabilities) is its apolitical and democratic nature.

Indo-U.S. cooperation in defense is definitely a big help for one of the world’s largest militaries that has helped maintain peace and stability in the Asian region and helped maintain peace globally via contributions to U.N. peacekeeping efforts worldwide.

It would also help bring the world’s largest democracies — India and the United States — closer together, not only in the booming high-tech sector but also in defense.

The recent success of the Indo-U.S. civil nuclear cooperation deal in the House of Representatives is yet another milestone in Indo-U.S. cooperation. It will also benefit mankind in the freedom-loving democratic world. The credit goes to the political leadership and corporate sectors of these two large nations promoting democratic values worldwide.

In addition, an India-Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline is in the works, and if successful, would boost the economies of India, Pakistan and Iran. This will help create employment, enhance education and bring peace and prosperity to the entire region.

The governments of India, Pakistan, Iran and the United States should all be thanked for these wonderful initiatives.

Therefore, let us hope for the success of not only Indo-U.S. cooperation in defense, but also the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal and the India-Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline.

The happiness one gets from these initiatives is the constructive nature of human beings working as a team from various countries for mutual gain. This is what much of the world should learn. Success and prosperity for all via unity and teamwork should be the new motto of the United Nations.

India’s burgeoning success merits permanent membership on the U.N. Security Council without question. This will become a reality in the near future, due to the great help and encouragement of various countries, notably the United States.

SUNDIP MUNDKUR

Worcester, Mass.

A flawed immigration ‘compromise’

If it is possible to imagine, the Pence-Hutchison “compromise” immigration bill is even worse than the odious McCain-Kennedy bill (depending on your perspective) in that it essentially outsources decisions regarding U.S. immigration to private companies located in foreign countries and the foreign governments that host them (“Comprehensive immigration,” Op-Ed, July 26).

Even worse, as Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, points out, the Pence-Hutchison bill has numerous additional flaws (“Reform the immigration debate,” Op-Ed, Wednesday). Among them: two-year work visas, automatically renewable for up to 12 years, followed by an “X-Change” visa good for 17 years that eventually grants the immigrant automatic permanent residence status, the right to bring in family members, and the opportunity for citizenship after five years. There would effectively be no limits on the time these “temporary” workers would be allowed to stay, no limits on the number of dependents they could bring in and no limits on the overall number of immigrants eligible for the program.

Contrast this immigration Christmas tree with the bone thrown at those favoring increased border security — their only “automatic” right will be to fight against a White House and Senate determined to foist upon the American people the most irrational immigration policy they can devise. As Mr. Sessions concludes, this bill “must not become law.”

ROBERT BERRY

Montgomery Village

The facts about water heaters

I enjoyed reading the article “Instant hot water; tax credit, too” (Metropolitan, Wednesday) about tankless water heaters, or “on demand” hot water, as it is sometimes called.

The article pointed out some of the benefits of a tankless water heater, including savings on electric or gas bills (traditional water heaters have to heat 40 to 80 gallons constantly to maintain a 120- to 140-degree temperature) and unlimited hot water, etc. While the article did an excellent job pointing out the pros of such a system, it did little to point out the cons.

On the surface, tankless water heaters seem like a great idea. But for the typical family, an electric tankless water heater generally will not meet normal water heating demands. Gas units are more efficient, but have their own set of problems to deal with: if the gas line is big enough, if you need a separate gas line installed, and the like.

The output of most units is only two to three gallons of hot water per minute. This means using hot water for activities such as showering, laundry or washing dishes can only be done with consideration. This normally would not fit the lifestyle of most busy households. It can also take a long time to fill a bathtub using a tankless unit. If the unit is not a modulated type, water temperature drops as demand and distance from unit increases.

Also, consider water temperature coming into your house, as water temperatures can fluctuate depending on your region or whether you are on a well. This will help determine which unit is right for your household.

The more capacity, the higher the costs of a tankless water heater. Models that can supply five gallons per minute can cost $1,000 or more.

Wiring requirements of electric tankless water heaters are big. Some can draw up to 28,000 watts. That’s 117 amps, which may be more than all the rest of the electrical use in the home combined. The electrical service of the home will need to be large enough to accommodate the extra load.

Also, decide if you plan on holding on to your house for a while. If you’re headed for a quick sale, choose a conventional heater.

While the concept sounds exciting, weigh the pros and cons before deciding on a tankless water heater.

BRYAN CALLAN

Washington

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