Ramblings from ConservativeCathy – What’s in a name??

The other day I was listening to O’Reily and heard a discussion between him and a young lady chosen to speak for the immigrants to our country (those not here legally) and she wanted to let all of us know how damaging to the soul and humanity of a person it was to refer to them as “illegal aliens”. She related this phrase to calling people names and dehumanizing them.

This is not the first time I have encountered this concept. Actually the liberal term of “undocumented workers” come from this concept. I always wondered what they were undocumented from? If I do not have copies of my transcripts from school – am I undocumented – If I lose my social security card – am I undocumented – if I do not have my drivers license on me – am I undocumented? I think that is a silly term.

Then looking around I also found other comments on the Internet:

Jesus Nebot, filmmaker, entrepreneur, and speaker, wrote in an Aug. 14, 2011 email to ProCon.org:

“‘Illegal alien’ is NOT a neutral term. ‘Illegal,’ used as an adjective or simply as a noun in ‘illegals’ stereotypes these immigrants as criminals, as if they were inherently bad people who must be punished.

Yet, crossing the border outside of legal channels is a violation of the civil code, not a criminal act. Their intent is not to cause harm or to steal. The illegal frame inflates the severity of their offense…..”

Cindy Rodríguez, Vice-President of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, wrote in her Apr. 4, 2006 Denver Post article “‘Illegal’ As a Noun Breaks Law of Reason”:

“If you can control the words people use, you can frame the issue. In effect, you control the way people view it. That is exactly what is happening with the immigration debate …some politicians are taking the easy way out by focusing on undocumented immigrants. Those politicians are being goaded by nativists, racists and brainwashed people who are confused in our culture of fear. Their term of choice: ‘illegals.’…..”

“The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) calls on our nation’s news media to use accurate terminology in its coverage of immigration and to stop dehumanizing undocumented immigrants…”

Douglas Gould and Company

Communications for Change
Today’s Bad Word: Illegal Alien
Definition: ‘illegal alien’ refers to individuals who cross a boarder into the United States unlawfully and without proper documentation.
What is says: An intensely negative term, ‘illegal’ defines people as criminal, forbidden and illegitimate. While ‘alien’ is synonymous to foreign, unwanted and dangerous. Are we really likening people from other countries to creatures in sci-fi movies? Come on…
My beef? The term itself erodes basic human rights (such as the right to a fair court hearing) by presuming illegal status. Besides being presumptuous, it condones arbitrary detention and unfair deportation. Moreover, it ignores that fact that many cross the boarder to escape oppression and a life of poverty in search of greater economic opportunities, mobility and quality of life. Do we want to live in a country that would round up and deport millions of people? Or racially profile Arizona residents – stopping suspicious cars and passersby – who may remotely “look like” someone not of European decent?
We should treat all those among us with dignity and respect, welcome newcomers without assumption, and work toward a more comprehensive and just immigration policy. Because, in so many ways, immigration is a net positive for America (economically, demographically, etc.)
Suggested replacements: undocumented people, undocumented worker, migrants

“To me an alien is somebody who is from another planet,” Democrat Sen. Frederica Wilson told the Miami Herald

It has taken me a few days to think about this ….

Meanwhile the dictionary sheds some light on the real meaning of terms:

The American Heritage Dictionary:

Illegal
ADJECTIVE:
1. Prohibited by law.
NOUN:
An illegal immigrant.
Alien
ADJECTIVE:
1. Owing political allegiance to another country or government; foreign: alien residents.
2. Belonging to, characteristic of, or constituting another and very different place, society, or person; strange. See Synonyms at foreign.
NOUN:
1. An unnaturalized foreign resident of a country. Also called noncitizen.
2. A person from another and very different family, people, or place.
3. A person who is not included in a group; an outsider.

I looked at several sites and they were all pretty much the same along with using the detrimental phrase as the example. Actually I thought that was pretty funny.

Let’s see the word illegal is bad as it aligns the person with being a criminal – hmmm
Illegally entering the United States – Federal Misdemeanor
Illegally getting a social security card (if they are working) – Identity Theft –
Felony
Using any entitlements is a fraud and misuse of taxpayer funds
Using taxpayer funds for school and healthcare is immoral at best
Any one using or working with a coyote is involved in a criminal conspiracy
to illegally transport a human being

The word alien is self-explanatory. I think it is funny to hear them say they are not from space. Maybe the problem is not the phrase but that the immigrants understanding of the English language is lacking??

The problem with all of this other than for the humorous responses I might compose in my head is this is just another liberal way of changing the conversation. The issue here is everyone understands why people come here and what the opportunities are for them but does that mean that they are allowed to break out laws instead or fixing their own countries? The issue is that and I know this is difficult for liberals but what other country in the world allows people to just walk into their country and receive free stuff??? And why should we!

Liberals and “illegal immigrants” need to realize and accept that they are here illegally and are criminals regardless of the fact that many of us might do the same thing under the same conditions. Understanding does not change the facts of an issue it just allows for empathy.

Although this has been treated with an attitude of sympathy and not the criminal behavior it is, all need to understand that these acts are violations of our laws and country and if any of us citizens did the same thing we would end up in jail so why do we excuse them? These are not civil crimes but real felonies.

Although we all know that most of the immigrants coming to this country are doing it for their own betterment, there are exceptions and all entrance illegally in this country is a type of invasion and not in our countries or citizen’s best interest.

The other derogatory term being supposedly implied by the term is that it is racist. Wow, I think that shows where their head is at. The majority of illegal immigrants into our country are of Latino heritage but we have them from Canada, the Middle East, Africa and East Asian countries (actually from everywhere I would bet) so I think they are stealing thunder to make the issue personal instead of dealing with the actual issue regardless of where the people come from.

People by evading the truth do not allow the real discussion to take place. Do we want to have a guest worker program for a mutual benefit? Yes. Do we want to limit the number of people entering our country? Only mildly. Do we want to allow people to come here and not assimilate? No. Do we want to continue multiculturalism? Not the way liberals define that term. Do we want to limit a work program to high tech, low tech or whatever is needed or beneficial to all involved? Depends. Do we allow those who owe us no allegiance or chose to not honor our laws to stay in our country? No. Should illegal immigrants be counted in the census? No. Do we want non-citizens voting? HELL NO! There are many questions that must be answered and dealt with but what we call them is not one of them!

Basically other than bringing humor to me – let’s try and deal with actual issues and not make issues out of words as is so common these days.

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15 Comments

Filed under Election 2012, Evils of Liberalism, Government is corrupt, Illegal Immigration, Long Term Thinking, politics, Racism

15 responses to “Ramblings from ConservativeCathy – What’s in a name??

  1. May I offer, migrant criminal, felon non-citizen, and law transgressing alien if we must have a new term?

  2. I consider them “economic refugees” since approximately 90% of them are forced to immigrate due to economic inequality

  3. May I suggest that if they stayed in their own country and worked to change it – it would be more effective. They bring down our system and do nothing to assist the one they come from. If they did not accept any government assistance and only worked as it used to be I would feel differently but the way it currently is – is destructive to our country and theirs.

    • Also I’m very impressed with the “Life is hard and unfair so the rules don’t apply to me” that is implicit in the statement about economic hardship. (At least I hope you mean economic hardship, if you really do mean economic inequality you should know that economic inequality is perhaps the most useless issues in economics)
      http://conservativenewager.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/the-myth-of-the-importance-of-inequality/
      http://conservativenewager.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/freedom-and-income-inequality-thanks-to-the-people-at-economic-freedom/
      http://conservativenewager.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/economic-inequality-hurts-people-or-does-it/

    • It is important to address the root cause of why they come here. For your information since the early 90′s until 2008 the amount of money we have spent on securing the border with Mexico has tripled. Yet, during that same time, the amount of people that crossed the border illegally doubled. Perhaps not the best use of our tax dollars. Why did that happen? The answer is NAFTA. We decided to eliminate barriers, taxes, and tariffs just for products, but not for people (unlike in the European Community where people can move from one coutry to another without any restrictions). In the meantime, thanks to the excellent work of the agriconglomerate lobbiests, we increased the subsidies for those industries (10 billion a year for the corn industry alone) eliminating any chance for Mexicans to compete fairly with us in that sector. The result is that we were able to sell corn to Mexicans cheaper than local farmers could afford. What do you think those hundreds of thousands of farmers had to do when their livelihood was ruined due to our foreign policies? Wait for the visa lottery? Only 3 of them were granted to Mexican unskilled workes in 2006. They immigrated to the US out of desperation to be able to survive, even if in the process they risked loosing their lives in the desert. Yes, I look at them as “economic refugees” because I’m using a humanitarian frame to look at this issue. Of course, I respect your right of you calling them “illegal aliens” since you are focused on the legal frame. But consider that long lasting effective solutions won’t be coming by using that narrow frame in which we see ourselves as the victims. This issue will best solved by taking some responsability in the matter and shifting our foreign policy to promote further collaboration and fair trade agreements with other countries so they can develop their local economies

      • First I deal in the real world and the fact is they are here illegally – period.
        What you say is potentially true but not the complete picture. Up until the Reagan amnesty law people came here for economic reasons, worked, saved money, sent it home and then went back home to retire (I accept that there are always exceptions to anything but speaking in generalities). Then Reagan was humane and decided to offer amnesty and a road to citizenship. The legislatures went nuts and gave them free education, health care, all kinds of subsidies and Democrats discovered that they being uneducated and only interested in free stuff would vote for them and gave them more. This is the stronger reason that the influx doubled in my opinion. Although I am not Latino I have some experience as I used to manage restaurants and hired “illegal aliens” as they were great employees/workers. After the Reagan law the attitude changed and more families were brought over to receive better services than could be had in their own country. Mexico will never be corrected and put on the right path if the people ignore their own country and escape to another.

        As to emulating Europe, although you can travel freely (with passport- and this is possible in our country also) you may not move to another country, vote and receive assistance freely. Why is America the only country in the world that is required to let anyone in and then pay for the privilege? Have you looked at the laws in Mexico for people from other countries to move there?

        Back to your other arguments about NAFTA – I do not support subsidizing any industry but no one asked me but I am aware of many companies that have moved operations to Mexico so I am sure it is fairly equal in the long run. I am also sure that even though wages might be lower than in America they are better than was previously offered in that country/area. Business is competitive so it will not survive unless it can get the best workers.

        • And Additionally if you were going to take someone else’s hospitality would you then march in the streets against the people/country you have invaded and join groups such as La Raza and tell people it is your land anyway (demonstrating once again a lack of education and history knowledge). Would you bring your lackluster political philosophies that are not working in your country and then try to apply them to your host country thinking it will have a different result?

        • Yes, they are here illegally, but calling them illegal aliens dehumanizes them and fuels antimmigrant sentiment, limiting our ability to respond to this crisis in a more comprehensive and compassionate way. Most of us drive over the speed limit from time to time. Yet we don’t call ourselves illegal drivers. Nor do we call you illegal employer for the fact that you have employed them in your restaurant, a violation of the civil code comparable to crossing the border with no documents. My point is that If you want to use the legal frame, you should apply it to everyone. I’ll be happy to answer the remaining comments with specific data later on but just know that I appreciate you allowing me to share a different perspective on your blog and that my goal is not to be right or make you wrong, but simply to give voice to undocumented immigrants who are criminalized because they had no other choice than to come here to provide for themselves and their families. Something that I presume your ancestors did as well unless they were Native Americans.

          • Facts have nothing to do with whether someone is human or not. This is just like if you do not call it by the real name it must not be so but it does not change the facts that they crossed here and stay here illegally. Now as to whether I apply things equally – when I was hiring them it was not a crime for the employer. Many of my employees would be picked up by immigration and they would call and I would hold the job until they could return whenever possible. They at the time understood the rules and so did I. At that time I was very supportive of them coming here and filling jobs. And before you say anything we paid them the same as anyone else and they received the same benefits as any other employee.
            I am not supportive of people coming here and then insisting that I assist in their support – when they do not want to assimilate, learn the language and want everything changed for them. If you want to be supportive than you should encourage them to assimilate, learn and show support for the country they are using and abusing.

          • Comparing speeding, which isn’t even a misdemeanor to immigration violations which involves numerous FELONIES is a bit of a stretch. And yes we do consider employers who hire them to be doing something illegal and I would encourage heavy, possibly business ending fines as a way to deter them.
            “but simply to give voice to undocumented immigrants who are criminalized because they had no other choice than to come here to provide for themselves and their families. ” Really they have no choice. They couldn’t stay in their own country, fight to reform those nations and achieve even greater heights for them and their families. Most illegal aliens come from Latin America which, while bad is not exactly Somalia or North Korea. If they worked they could change their own nations into thriving bastions of freedom and prosperity. Just look at Chile which in less than 2 decades went from tyrant to thriving democratic-capitalist society. They had a choice. They chose to not care about their country, not care about this country, not care about the future, not care that they were condemning their families to second class citizenship, not care that they were condemning their home nation to further corruption and instability and not care that they were helping to bankrupt the nation they were coming to. They had a choice. They made the wrong one. Legally, ethically, morally. They made the wrong choice. Excuse me if I don’t care about the “voice” of these criminals.

            • I’m happy to have a healthy debate about this issue so long as we use actual facts. Especially if you insist on using the legal frame on this debate. Crossing the border with no documents is a violation of the civic code, not a felony. Never has been. Driving over the speed limit is also a violation of the civic code and to that end comparable. If you want to call people that violate the civic code “illegals” that’s fine. Just know that such term would also apply to you, to me, to Cathy and to most Americans unless you are using a double standard. As for why they come here, I encourage you to read my prior post on this blog. I surely respect your opinons but it seems to me you are misinformed about the root cause driving people to the US as well as their economic contributions to our country. Did you know for example that undocumented immigrants pay more in taxes than we do and receive way less benefits? If you don’t, I’ll be happy to share this information with you on my next sharing. Thanks for the opportunity

              • Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code
                http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1325
                Illegal entry into the country can be punishable by up to two years for repeat offenders (the traditional line be misdemeanor and felony is a year and a day, ergo felony)
                Forging ID (felony in most states) and using someone else’s Social Security number, which most illegals do (http://www.justice.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usab5206.pdf) felony

                So please don’t tell me to be informed when you don’t know what you’re talking about.
                Second as to “paying taxes”…they don’t pay income tax. As to all the other taxes, perhaps your not aware this is a conservative blog and we don’t support most of those other taxes. For instance I assume you mean when they faked their SSN and are thus paying those taxes but don’t get to collect…hey I’m not going to get to collect either because the entire system will be bankrupt long before I retire. So that is a silly argument. Also when you factor in all the money that is spent educating the children of illegal immigrants, (http://conservativenewager.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/laws-the-gop-should-pass-29-immigration-part-i/) trust me me they are not nearly paying into the system what they’re getting out.

              • No but it was always fraud to use a fake SS# which they always have and when I go over the speed limit as I often do I actually know that is it illegal and if caught I will have to pay a ticket/fine and if I had many of these I would loose my license and also my insurance goes up. But I am pretty sure that if picked up by a government actually following US laws they can be held in jail and then deported and that will not happen if I pay my ticket as my ticket is a state or local crime and theirs is a Federal crime. See consequences for illegal activity as I stated before both I and my employees knew the issue and consequences and dealt with them. Now you and the majority of voices are asking for no consequences and lots of gifts.
                Go ahead and send me your documentation (I will read it) that they pay more in taxes as I have documentation to refute and also common sense. These people generally declare so many dependents that they do not pay much in Income Tax for Fed and State. The other taxes would only go up on volume but not on a equal comparison. The taxes they are paying are covering what they are paying them for but they are not covering the expenses they are causing. Must compare apples to apples.
                The point is you want to discuss wording instead of dealing with pragmatic reality. What ever you call them there is a problem in this country regardless of why they are here. It is the way we currently deal with them and our country will match the one they escaped from if nothing changes. Gee I am so glad we get to see the other side.
                Let me be very clear I have no issues with people who want to work and improve themselves coming here but they should not receive any government assistance whatsoever and they can not bring their families unless they apply for citizenship and can fully support them. I admire hard workers who want to better themselves and am always willing to help but not at the expense of my country.
                By the way I notice you did not want to deal with the conduct of those illegal aliens and their picketing/protesting, La Raza, no desire to learn the language and assimilate.

  4. Disappointed Jesus did respond back again with further information to back up his point – I take that to mean that he realized that he had no legitimate documentation to back up his assertions – too bad

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