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:
1. Prohibited by law.
An illegal immigrant.
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.
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 –
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.