VIEWSrnThe P’s and Q’s of ImmigrationrnA Letter to My Granddaughterrnby Garrett HardinrnDear Dinah: Sounds like your solo in the Boston churchrnwas a triumph. Your grandma and I wish we could havernbeen there to hear it. We’ll make it some time.rnNow to defend myself against your charge that I’m just anrnold Scrooge when it comes to immigration. To Cain’s questionrn”Am I my brother’s keeper?” you say that the answer hasrnto be an unqualified “Yes.” Your position has distinguishedrnsupporters. There’s the poet Schiller, for instance, in hisrn”Ode to Joy,” which you know from Beethoven’s Ninth (sincernyou’ve sung in the chorus). And Walt Whitman. And mostrnof today’s professional philanthropists. It is also what mostrnAmericans think our Statue of Liberty says. But they’re wrong.rnWe’ve been brainwashed by that darned poem on the basernof the statue. Emma Lazarus, pretending to speak for allrnAmericans, said: “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddledrnmasses.” How inspiring! How magnanimous of us to offerrnto share our wealth with all the world’s wretched! Butrnwho made this commitment? Our own poor, our unemployed,rnour homeless? Not on your life. The poet was arnwealthy woman, who proposed sharing the wealth, the jobs, ofrnother people—our poor—with an unlimited number of im-rnGarrett Hardin is a professor emeritus of human ecology atrnthe University of California, Santa Barbara. His most recentrnbook is Living Within Limits: Ecology, Economics, andrnPopulation Taboos, published this year by Oxford UniversityrnPress.rnmigrants.rnAs a matter of historical fact, the poem is not a proper partrnof the statue. It was added to the base 17 years after the statuernwas dedicated. And who added it? Congress? No, some ofrnLazarus’ wealthy friends put it there. Congress wasn’t consulted.rnNeither were the homeless and the unemployed. NorrnAmericans working on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder,rnwhere they can easily lose their jobs to new immigrants.rnThe wealthy don’t suffer from such “generosity.” In fact theyrnoften gain by being able to hire cheaper servants.rnMany fine people sincerely think we should dismantle thernborders around our country, letting in all who want to come.rnI don’t quarrel with their intentions: they mean well. Butrnthey need to mind the “p’s and q’s” of immigration, or elsernthey’ll do more harm than good in the long run.rnI don’t know the origin of the expression “p’s and q’s,” butrnwhen it comes to immigration the two letters can stand forrnprecedents and quantities. These are the p’s and q’s of immigrationrnthat we must pay attention to. President Carterrnlearned the importance of precedents when, good Christianrnthat he is, he welcomed the Cubans fleeing Castro’s dictatorshiprnin the “Mariel boatlift” of 1980. In a few days thernnumbers amounted to 120,000, and Carter backpedaled fromrnwhat he had mistakenly thought was a Christian imperative.rnThe number 120,000 happened to be the exact amount ofrnpopulation increase in one year in Cuba. The President’s advisorsrnno doubt pointed out that Cuba could easily send usrn16/CHRONICLESrnrnrn