Dan Stein's op-ed piece {"Myths About Immigration," Oct. 15} is a classic example of poor research designed to support preconceived facts. Here are just a few examples of the many factual errors contained in Mr. Stein's piece: Mr. Stein improperly cites an Urban Institute Study that does not say that "immigrants" cost more in benefits than in taxes. What the study does say is that recent Mexican immigrants (legal and illegal) cost more in benefits than they pay in taxes. Since Mexican immigrants represent only 10 percent of the current legal flow, it is hard to see why Mr. Stein is so frantic. If Mr. Stein factored in the other 90 percent of legal immigrants, he would find that most legal immigrants pay more in taxes than they receive in social services. The reason: Asian immigrants, who represent half the flow, have smaller families, higher levels of education and higher average incomes than the native born. Mr. Stein says baby boomers and immigrants are the same age. This is not true. The average age of immigrants coming to the United States is 26. The average age of baby boomers is 35. That nine-year age difference is important -- it means that immigrants will flatten the demographic bulge that is the source of our Social Security problems.

Mr. Stein says today's immigrants aren't doing well financially because they are selected on the basis of family connections. Yet 95 percent of legal immigrants are relative admissions, and most of these immigrants are doing well. In fact, most legal immigrants to the United States have higher levels of education than the average native-born citizen.

One can only hope that in considering legal immigration proposals, Congress will consult the Census Bureau rather than the special interests. Deliberation should always start with data.