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Haitian Refugees and US Responsibility

The Opinion page article "US Haitian Refugee Policy - a Brutal `Alternative', " Sept. 8, suggests that the United States Haitian refugee policy is "brutal."

The policy is, however, no more brutal than our policies regarding malnourished and mistreated people from Somalia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Iraq, and Cambodia.

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There are approximately 600 million malnourished people in the world. Why should a political refugee, or someone able to get into a boat, be considered more worthy of our concern than someone who is too hungry, weak, poor, or young to travel to a US embassy or to our borders? There are at least 1 or 2 billion people who would like to emigrate to the US, and the number increases every year.

The great majority of the world's 100 million per year population growth occurs in poor countries. Only a tiny fraction of these billions would be able to emigrate. We do not have the resources to accept billions of people.

The most brutal US foreign policy is our failure to provide contraceptives to the estimated 100 million poor couples worldwide wanting to reduce fertility but lacking the technical means to do so. Steven C. Hill, Las Cruces, N.M.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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