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No, we are not 'all immigrants'

No, we are not 'all immigrants'

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In the story headlined "Immigration Rally Fills Streets," Socorro Alvarez, social services coordinator at Western Avenue, estimated that 60 percent of the 6,000 to 7,000 Hispanics living in McLean County are undocumented. She goes on to say, "They are working," adding undocumented workers pay taxes and contribute to Social Security they do not collect.

I am curious, how exactly does that work? How does an immigrant without proper documentation to be in the country legally acquire a Social Security number to pay in and contribute to Social Security?

Social Security requirements for a non-U.S. citizen immigrant to acquire a number and card would include seeing current U.S. immigration documents. Acceptable documents from Department of Homeland Security include: Form I-551, includes machine-readable immigrant visa with unexpired foreign passport; I-94 with unexpired foreign passport; or work permit card, I-766 or I-688B.

So when Alvarez indicates undocumented Hispanics in McLean County and paying in and contributing to Social Security, how exactly does that work?

Bloomington Alderman Mike Matejka is quoted, "I am a child of immigrants. Unless we are Native Americans, we are all immigrants." How exactly does that work?

Simply check a dictionary for the definition of immigrant to realize that clearly if you were born in the U.S. you are not an immigrant. This distinction is important although it is clear Mr. Matejka does not understand it.

I grow tired of the stale rhetoric, "They are important. Who empties the trash at night? Who cleans the offices? Who washes the dishes? They are a forgotten and vital part of our community."

What statistics substantiate the claim that immigrants fill a majority of those positions vs. citizens born here? How exactly does that work?

Richard H. Nash III

Bloomington

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