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I think what he was getting at is that we should be selecting for people willing to work hard for long periods of time.

I also suspect that if you posed a force-choice question to most Americans, "Who would you rather have in this country: people who are willing to falsify official documents so they can work hard for longer, or people who stick to the letter of the law so that they can work as little as possible?", they would choose the former.

The criteria mentioned seem both parochial and specious.

I'd prefer meaningful criteria that result in new citizens who would make positive contributions to a community, not criteria that would encourage otherwise ethical people to falsify official documents nor ones that equate toil with virtue.

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