Mitch Richardson (Readers' Forum, April 5) objects to calling undocumented immigrants "criminals." If by "criminal" we mean evil and morally corrupt, I would agree. But if we use a dictionary definition of "criminal" — "guilty of an act that is forbidden by a public law," then the word is exactly correct.

Stable societies are built on established and accepted rules of conduct or laws. Ignoring those laws corrodes the character and stability of such a society. When we embrace the notion that laws can be ignored with impunity, we open the door to anarchy. If our society wants to welcome these people, we should change our laws to accommodate that. Otherwise, we need to start enforcing our existing laws.

Dave Argyle