Hysteria over illegal immigration is an excuse for bigotry

I absolutely refuse to believe that the anti-immigrant crowd makes any distinction between legal and illegal immigrants. How can they tell the difference? Employers certainly make no such distinctions, because otherwise it's hard to see why they wouldn't certify all their fruit and vegetables as picked by U.S. citizens, if only in the interest in their bottom lines.

The truth is, illegal immigrants are generally quite clever at remaining undetected. The fact that no one can reasonably claim to be able to tell the difference between those who are here legally and those who are not just by looking is simply an excuse to treat all people of a different skin color or national origin as criminals.

This is the purpose behind the Arizona, Georgia and Alabama legislation. Ask legal immigrants in any of those states how they feel about going out when Sheriff Joe or his Dixie equivalent is patrolling the barrio in his prowl car.

Is the intrepid fruit labeler from Havre de Grace proposing some sort of scanning tattoo on all American citizens as a prerequisite for participation in commerce of any kind?

Paul R. Schlitz Jr., Baltimore

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