August 16, 2010

111 West 57th Street
NY, NY 10019

I was much surprised to read (No Boatloads but Still Trouble ECONOMIST, Charlemagne, vol. 396 no. 9695 August 14, 2010 page 42) about what appears to be an enormous decline in the number of illegal immigrants coming to Europe.  Your analysis suggests that there are multiple factors, and I am sure this is true, but in the fine old journalistic tradition of “oversimplify then exaggerate,” there is another factor. 

Back in 2008 you printed an article “Kissing Cousins” describing work that showed that the less kin a couple of people are, the fewer children they can expect to have and that effect extended into future generations.  It’s harder than rocket science – but not as tricky as cat’s cradle – to figure out that migrating is harmful to your children.  So perhaps the potential immigrants have been reading your publication.  You have always spoken well of such people.


M. Linton Herbert MD 

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