Illegals are not ‘immigrants’
December 20, 2005
Dear Editor:Contrary of what your article “Surge from the south” (Dec. 19) says, America is not a country of immigrants. More than four in five residents were born in the U.S. Also, it is a semantic stretch to call illegal aliens “immigrants,” even if a qualifying adjective, “undocumented,” is used.Being a former immigrant myself, I feel offended by being thrown to the same category with illegal border crossers and visa overstayers. Unlike actual immigrants, many illegal aliens maintain strong allegiances to foreign governments and do not perceive the U.S. as their new country in which to live and die for.The favorable treatment that illegal aliens enjoy in the U.S. is not just a slap in a face to all those who came to America legally. It is also very unfair. A visitor on a nonimmigrant visa (for instance, on a student “F” visa) is automatically prohibited from establishing domicile in the U.S., which makes him ineligible for many public benefits or for adjustment of his immigration status. As soon as that person lives the U.S. and returns here illegally, he becomes eligible for many of the very same benefits he was ineligible as lawful alien, as, for instance, in-state reduced tuition rates that, in the state of California, is offered to illegal aliens that attended and graduated from high school in that state but not to “F” visa holders. And this is just an example.I wish your editorial board stopped portraying illegal aliens as “immigrants” that deserve a welcome mat like anybody else who made America a destination of his journey. If they are so valuable additions to this nation, then let them apply for U.S. immigration visas in their native countries and wait in line with millions of others who already did; they would like to improve their lives, too.Marek A. SuchenekYorba Linda, Calif.