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baltimoresun.com

They are illegal immigrants, not an "undocumented underclass"

1:33 PM EDT, July 5, 2011

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Dan Rodricks' recent column lacked a very important adjective in its headline. ("Immigrants: We detest them — and need them," June 30). It lacks the word "illegal." But we know Mr. Rodricks agenda: He loves the word "undocumented" instead, as if that cleans it up.

When an individual illegally crosses our borders, he or she is committing a felony. But we can't expect Mr. Rodricks to get that close to the truth.

He says we need immigrants. Of course, we do. We always have. My grandparents, like those of many Americans, were legal immigrants who played by the rules, raised their families and sacrificed a lot while doing so.

Mr. Rodricks claims illegal immigrants pay "hundreds of billions" into the Social Security trust fund. He's right -- but no illegal immigrant has a legal Social Security number, and Mr. Rodricks must know that.

Instead, they paid paid a "coyote" to get them across the border and they also paid for their illegal Social Security number. Yet Mr. Rodricks complains about "crackdowns on this undocumented underclass" that include "seeking them out and deporting them."

He just doesn't get it.

Roland Moskal