Ideas

Snapshot

Readers React: “A nation of 325 million cannot take them all in.”

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Last week, novelist Juliet Grames wrote an open letter to her Trump-loving uncles on the occasion of her Italian-born great aunt’s death.

Grames argued, in deeply personal terms, that their beloved aunt was no different from the migrants arriving at the United States border now — hard-working, family-focused people.

Yes, she had a visa and they do not, Grames acknowledged. But the sort of visa she obtained — as an uneducated, manual laborer — is harder to come by now.

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An online commenter who goes by the name “ninemain” wasn’t buying it:

“Yes, she had a visa, but ...” But what? Having a visa is the whole point, it is the difference between legal immigration and illegal immigration. The 100,000 people who show up at the border are not refugees in any sense of the word, they are economic migrants. There are 7.5 billion people on the planet, the vast majority of whom live in poverty and squalor. They want a better life? Who doesn’t?! A nation of 325 million cannot take them all in, nor does it have any obligation, legally or morally, to do so. A visa is how immigration is controlled.