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Letters to the Editor
Immigration Threatens California
I cannot let the commentary on immigration ethics and policy ["Immigration: Is Exclusion Just?" by Manuel Velasquez, Spring 1996] go unaddressed. As a demographer and second-generation Californian, I have found myself professionally enmeshed in this area as an offshoot of my interest in environmental protection and sustainability and a commitment to a certain quality of life for this and successive generations.
Such prominent ecologists as David Pimentel of Cornell University and Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University argue that the maximum sustainable population for the United States is 150 million and for California, 10 million levels last seen in 1950.
Births in a low-mortality, stationary population of 10 million would be about 140,000 a year. In 1970, California had 360,000 births 325,000 to native-born women. In 1992, it had 600,000 births 334,000 to native-born women and 161,000 to Mexican-born women. Half the latter had not gone beyond grade school, which (according to a large number of well-designed studies) presages low educational achievement for their children, the antithesis of the requirements of a postindustrial society.
Within a few years, as the baby boomers complete childbearing, the sole source of U.S. population growth will be post-1970 immigrants and, demographically more important, their offspring. Given the vastly disproportionate resource consumption per American, I argue that reducing, not adding to, the U.S. population should be a prime concern for everyone in the world, including the citizens of third world countries.
B. Meredith Burke
Theodore Hesburgh, CSC, former president of the University of Notre Dame, was a member of a national commission to reform U.S. immigration policy. He said the United States must "close the back door" to illegal immigration if it wants to keep the "front door" open to legal immigrants. Over the years, this country has developed what is probably the most generous, compassionate, and humane immigration policy of any major nation. Martin Cook's quotation ["Martin Cook Replies," Spring 1996] that the United States is a "nation with the soul of a church" is to the point.
But even churches require their members to conform to certain beliefs and rules to remain in good standing. There is every justification for nations to expect the same of immigrants.
Watt B. Clinch
As Uelmen states, this is an occasion to reflect on lessons to be learned. One lesson for Uelmen and Santa Clara University regards the appropriateness of his involvement, and thus SCU's, in the whole sordid affair, which did far more to feed racial tensions in this city than any other event in the past two years. What this trial and the defense team did to the service of justice, to the commonweal's racial tensions, and to the public perception of fair trial verdicts cannot even begin to be addressed in as limited a frame as this letter.
The mission of the Ethics Center is, indeed, crucial in this day and age, when so many matters of ethical concern are the victims of media spin. Ethical education and reflection are, indeed, needed, beginning with some reflection on whether one does decent service to the institutions one represents when one chooses freely to defend a client known to be a batterer and abusive.
Reflection on what contributes to domestic violence should be undertaken. Reflection on how women are abused and battered needs to be pursued. Reflection on how the jurisprudence and police systems deal with these problems and exacerbate them is also needed.
It is unfortunate the University did not just let the matter end with the trial. Your decision to publish on it only diminishes the public image of a great school, which looks neither so great nor so decent in this.
Robert T. Walsh, S.J.
I took a number of ethics courses while at SCU and have felt a void since leaving. It is extremely difficult to find thoughtful analyses of ethical issues in the everyday world. Thanks for helping fill the void.
William A. Thorne Jr.
This is a perfect resource. My only wish is that the articles were longer and more in depth.
|Issues in Ethics - V. 7, N. 3 Fall 1996|
|Demonizing Our Opponents|
|on the one hand|
|May the Best...Woman Win|
|The Common Ground Project|
|a case in point|
|The Sole Remaining Supplier|
|Responses to the Case of the Long-Distance Cancer Treatment|
|Responses to the Case of Maria Elena|
|a good read|
|A Testament to Ethics|
|Another Kind of Justice: SCU Trip Spurs Ethical Reflection|
|letters to the editor|
|Immigration Threatens California|
|Close the Back Door|
|Is Defense of Wife Abuser Ethical?|
|Uelman Piece Thought-Provoking|
|A Perfect Resource|
|scholars at work|
|Marilyn Edelstein: Love, Literature, and Morality|
|Dennis Moberg: Employee Virtue, Employee Vice|
|at the center|
|Strategic Plan Takes Us Into 2001|
|Presidential Professor William Spohn|
|Ethics, Courts, and the Mass Media|
|issues in ethics tools|