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Dear Editor:

The letter you published in the February 12th issue from a purported immigration lawyer calling himself "Michael D." is an obvious plant from a nativist group like FAIR, because no immigration lawyer hates foreigners like that. I want to draw attention to one huge canard in the letter. He claims undocumented aliens do not pay significant "taxes" because they either have low incomes or do not file tax returns. The hyperventilating apologist who wrote the letter is deliberately confusing the concept of "income taxes" with the general fact of "taxes." In fact, whether or not they pay income taxes, undocumented aliens pay large amounts for other taxes, especially payroll taxes and sales taxes. Those are highly regressive taxes, so the undocumented persons pay extremely high levels of taxes. Most studies I've seen from reputable economic sources indicate that undocumented aliens in fact pay significantly more in taxes than they receive in services, although there are some local or individual exceptions. In addition, they contribute greatly to overall economic productivity, for many reasons. There are sensible reasons for wanting to limit immigration to the United States, based on social, cultural and political factors. But the facts on taxes and services actually are strongly in favor of open immigration.

I also want to express my opinion--as a conservative, Catholic Democrat--that it is simply racist to disparage undocumented aliens as "illegals." Human beings cannot be illegal, and most reasons for being out of status are not crimes but civil status violations skin to parking violations, frequently due to US government delay and inefficiency, not to any fault of the person. I suspect Mr. Law-and-Order sometimes speeds and overparks and doesn't wear his seatbelt. That makes him an "illegal citizen," right? I'd sure like to see him get his citizenship stripped and his bags packed, because he is a disgrace to the United States.

Bruce A. Hake