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`Foreign Born' Gives Wrong Connotations

The article ``Texas, Seeking Budget Cut, to Deport Foreign Inmates,'' Dec. 5, illustrates a problem that many news reports on immigration have: the failure to clearly distinguish between illegal immigrants and all other classes of immigrants. The article uses the terms ``foreign born'' and ``not citizen'' as synonyms for ``illegal immigrants.''

Being ``foreign born'' does not mean that one is an illegal immigrant. Many ``foreign born'' immigrants are now naturalized US citizens who immigrated legally to the US. Similarly, there are many legal residents of the US who are not citizens. The anti-immigrant sentiments among the general populace that fails to recognize that legal immigrants can remain noncitizens, put these law-abiding, tax-paying contributors to our society at risk of losing their rights. Mary Bothwell, Pasadena, Calif.

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