Originally created 07/01/03

Even immigrants have problem with illegals



Regarding Kevin Palmer's June 20 letter, "Only bigots say illegal aliens harm," attempting to rebut a previous letter on the subject of illegal immigration: I can confidently state that his generalizations are brilliant. To quote: "Typically, Mr. Petrozello's beliefs are representative of a certain bigoted segment of American society which only wants immigrants who resemble pilgrims to enter the United States."

My father-in-law is Cantonese. My mother-in-law is from Colombia, thus my wife does not resemble a classic "pilgrim" and neither does my brother-in-law. All four are naturalized citizens. The last time my wife, her brother and I talked about this subject, some pretty strong opinions were expressed about curbing illegal immigration. I have yet to come across a foreign-born, naturalized citizen who did not carry opinions about illegal immigration, especially when he recollects how he and his family struggled to become Americans while hearing about others who, so unfairly, simply walked in.

Another quote of Mr. Palmer's: "In my opinion, so-called illegal immigrants have not hurt the United States as Mr. Petrozello suggests." Let's clarify the term "so-called." "Illegal" means prohibited by law, against the law, unlawful; not authorized or sanctioned, as by rules. "Crime" means an act committed in violation of a law prohibiting it and "criminal" means to be guilty of a crime.

Now, the word illegal is the antonym of the word "legal," so it should be fairly clear that people who do not follow the Immigration and Naturalization Service procedures are entering illegally. Thus, these people are breaking the law, and these people are criminals. And there are millions of them in our great nation.

Even in quoting President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Mr. Palmer failed to make a distinction between the immigrants Mr. Roosevelt spoke of (which all non-Native-American people are) and illegal immigrants.

Yes, there is a difference. Mr. Palmer's emotional tirades do not lessen the guilt of illegal immigrants, but they might lessen the penalization of these people. If he has an issue with the law, he should write his congressmen - not the newspaper.

Robert Simmons, Evans, Ga.