While we're at it, profile tax cheaters

Since police in Arizona are permitted to detain people who look like illegal immigrants, why not expand the law to those who look as if they owe back taxes?

Paying taxes is the law, and tax cheats are a drain on the system, burdening all public services without paying their fair share. It would be simple enough to require people to carry around transcripts of their tax returns.

Richard DiFeliciantonio

Collegeville

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You, too, can be an illegal immigrant

I think illegal immigration is wonderful. We should be more progressive and open our borders. Why, think of the benefits to Americans.

The next time I want to see a sold-out movie or go to a Phillies game, I can just walk in. If I'm asked for a ticket, I can say: "Sorry, I'm undocumented, but I'm here now, so just deal with it."

Richard Iaconelli

Philadelphia

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Dehumanizing the undocumented

When Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R., Butler) introduced his Arizona-style anti-immigration legislation in the Pennsylvania House, he said that citizens of the commonwealth were threatened by the clear and present dangers of illegal alien invaders ("Pa. legislators join debate over immigration laws," May 4). The bill itself refers to the "lawlessness" caused by those who reside in the state illegally.

This language is inflammatory and degrading. Those who have entered the United States without proper documentation are not monsters from outer space, rampaging through our streets. They are human beings, just like you and me, who seek to provide their families with safe homes, a good education, enough food to eat, and an honest day's wage.

When we label them "illegals" or "aliens," we dehumanize them and implicitly conclude that they are something less than worthy of respect and compassion. Once we have stripped these men, women, and children of their identity and their humanity, it is that much easier to callously lump them together into one big "problem" and to toss them aside like so much garbage.

Rev. Peter Friedrichs

Swarthmore

pafriedrichs@gmail.com

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Treated better than U.S. citizens

Your article "U.S. court grants asylum to Obama's African aunt" (May 18) leaves me puzzled about available social services to U.S. citizens in our great country.

The article states that Zeituni Onyango came to the United States in 2000 for a visit, applied for political asylum ("due to violence in Kenya") in 2002, was rejected and ordered deported in 2004, but did not leave the country and continued to live in public housing. Six years and several lawyers later, she was granted asylum by a U.S. Immigration Court in Boston.

While I hesitate to jump to conclusions, an individual with no home, no job, no money, and ill health can only lead me to believe that she remained here because "we, the people" footed the bill for her food, clothing, shelter, medical care, legal fees, and other necessities.

Other than receiving medical insurance and a small food-stamp stipend, my daughter, a U.S citizen, single mother of three (two of whom have severe health issues), and partially disabled because of a back injury, has been turned down repeatedly by every social-service agency she has approached for help.

What's wrong with this picture?

Ellen Dorazio

East Norriton

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Democrats define 'affordable'

In his excellent article "Fannie, Freddie get a pass" on Wednesday, Rick Santorum did, however, omit something important: a definition. He mentioned "affordable housing" but without explaining the bizarre Democratic definition of that term - a definition that has brought our country to the brink of catastrophe.

Seems simple enough. Affordable housing is housing that people of almost every income level can afford. The less you can afford, the cheaper the house, right? Not to Democrats. Where's the equalizing of social status with that definition? - the poor live in poorer housing than the middle class, who live in poorer housing than the rich. Not fair! So they changed the definition. And affordable housing to Democrats now meant housing the buyer could not afford!

How could that be? By pressuring Democratic enclaves Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the banks to issue or back mortgages with unrealistically low adjustable interest rates. Unfortunately, when the rate adjusted up, the house wasn't worth the mortgage payment, and buyers defaulted.

No problem when it crashed - Democrats blamed George Bush.

Anthony P. Schiavo

Lafayette Hill