Your May 28 column entitled “Immigration Bill Worth its ink if it were the last,” concerning the measure now being deliberated in congress, is somewhat alarming. The author, Charles Krauthammer draws a frivolous comparison between the privileged status of Americans that theoretically allows them to filter the immigration flow into the country and being awarded with something tantamount to the “first 100 picks in the NBA draft.” In a seemingly racist take on the current immigration debate, he claims that these 100 picks are being wasted on something no better than, “the first 100 names of the San Salvador phone book.” In abandoning any pretense of intellectual clarity in favor of a cheap jab at the racial composition of one bloc of immigrants, Krauthammer is advocating a level of social engineering that is intolerable.
At the root of this viewpoint is a generous dose of nativism that simultaneously drives Krauthammer to promote what he clearly sees as in his own best interests while demonizing the millions of illegal immigrants who are trying to achieve the same goal. The assumption that America deserves the best and brightest from the rest of the world is predicated on the self-absorbed sentiment that since this is the country in which we live, it should be privileged with “the top 100 picks.” If simply having a level of education or entrepreneurial sprit is the appropriate prerequisite for U.S. citizenship, then Krauthammer should also favor deporting several million U.S. born high school drop-outs or its unemployed.
The author doesn’t necessarily care about creating a community of the sharpest minds and noblest spirits, but rather about giving further advantages to a country which is already flattered by his presence.