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Opinion: The U.S. once deemed whole classes of migrants undesirable. It’s doing that again.

Protesters stage a demonstration against the Trump administration's executive order preventing Muslims from some countries to enter the United States, in front of the US Embassy in Rome on Feb. 2.
(Alessandro Di Meo / Associated Press)

To the editor: Sultan Ali, my Muslim grandfather, immigrated to this country in the early part of the 20th century. He settled in southern Arizona, where he began farming in the Colorado River valley just outside Yuma.

During the Dust Bowl, he brought wagons of food to Midwestern immigrants waiting to cross into California. He asked no money for the produce and eggs he passed out to them. At the start of World War II his son — my father — joined the Marines and fought in the Pacific. My grandfather was a successful farmer and gave generously to his less fortunate fellow Americans.

I grew up on his farm and listened to his daily prayers. What I learned from my multireligious background was that there is much more in common with Christianity and Islam than there are differences. Both religions, at their core, teach that without compassion for your fellow man, you cannot be close to God.

My grandfather came from Pakistan, then a part of India. Because of laws that restricted the rights of Asian immigrants, he was not allowed to purchase land. My grandmother was stripped of her U.S. citizenship because she married him. I am appalled that this country has returned to an era when certain immigrants are banned and their rights curtailed simply because of where they came from.

Paul Ali, Sunland

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To the editor: My wife and I are from immigrant families. She is Italian and her dad fought (on the other side) in World War II. My great-great grandfather emigrated from Scotland and fought and died for our country in the Civil War. President Trump claims a German heritage.

What’s different today, as opposed when our Scottish, Italian and German families came to America, is the nations of origin at issue, the religion and the skin color. The president’s travel ban is aimed at people who have never harmed our country and likely never will, other than perhaps by making their neighbors uneasy because of (you guessed it) the god they worship and the color of their skin.

The president’s plan to make America white again will fail. The only question is how much havoc will we wreak in the lives of innocent people in the process.

Bob Warnock, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Those fighting Trump’s executive order have blind spots when it comes to immigration. Thinking of “danger” in terms of crime statistics alone, for example, endangers Americans of all political leanings.

With millions of Americans under-employed and out of the workforce, expanding immigration is incredibly irresponsible and shortsighted, especially given the steady erosion of the American middle class. More cheap labor brings increasing downward pressure on wages for everyone.

Another overlooked consideration is the inevitable overpopulation of the United States if our current immigration policies continue unabated. I lived abroad for nine years. When I first arrived in Seoul in 1992, it was among the most densely populated cities on the planet. Having experienced overpopulation first-hand, I am in favor of avoiding it in the United States.

Apparently, many other American voters are also aware of these dangers and agree that change is required.

David Goode, Manhattan Beach

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