July 24, 2013 | Volume 100 / Number 30

Immigration Does Not Equal Terrorism

Dear Editor:

In my opinion, Mr. Vaupel has mistaken immigrants as terrorists (July 17, Page 2A).

Immigrants do not “infiltrate” their new country. While terrorists intend harm, immigrants want to settle down in their new home and get along just like everybody else.

Chances are immigrants have done good deeds in their neighborhoods, schools and towns that won’t be recorded in national statistics. Speaking a new language is difficult for any adult; reading and writing is much easier.

But since speaking is the more public way of communication, we often assume that an immigrant who doesn’t speak English well doesn’t want to learn English. If this hardship eludes you, simply imagine yourself living in a foreign country and trying to make arrangements such as registering kids in school, standing in line to get a driver’s license, finding work … No doubt you will gain a much greater appreciation for families who uproot themselves and start life all over again.

Immigrants and their children often bring their broadened experiences back home, thereby bring about transformation in the old culture. One can even argue that a sure way to change a country’s culture is to expose its young generation to alternative ideas. Not all of these transformations can be viewed as positive, of course, but my guess is that immigration tide might help Muslim countries win more Nobel Prizes in the future.

Immigration does not equate terrorism.

Lih-An Yang

Glasgow

Who “infiltrated” to the U.S. from Taiwan at the age of 16, then “infiltrated” to Glasgow with her family 11 years ago.

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