A brief article in today’s Long Island Newsday highlights the efforts by a group called The Applied Research Center, a far-left “think tank” dedicated to racial justice, to have the word “illegal” made illegal when referring to immigrants.
The “Drop The I-Word” campaign seeks to reinforce the message that using the term is offensive and demeaning to immigrants who came here ‘illegally.’ The campaign wants the term “illegal” replaced with the friendlier, and might I add incorrect, term “undocumented.”
However, as a professor of political science at Stony Brook University pointed out, using the term “undocumented” in such cases is flawed because it normally refers to individuals who are seeking asylum in the United States. Moreover, the word “undocumented” suggests that those who have violated U.S. immigration laws are simply inconvenienced by not having the proper papers. But many illegal aliens do have documentation – it just doesn’t happen to rightfully belong to them!
Some illegal aliens complained that the term “illegal” criminalizes a whole community of people and a self-described “undocumented” said that being referred to as an illegal alien makes him “uncomfortable.”
First of all, coming into the United States illegally (whether crossing a border without inspection or hiding in the hull of a ship) is a crime – see Section 1325 of the U.S. Code: Illegal entry by alien – punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment. Lastly, if being labeled as an illegal alien makes one uncomfortable, here is a bit of advice, don’t come to the U.S. illegally in the first place.