From: Bloomberg.com, discussing the GOP first tier candidate presidential debate:
‘Hemmer either signaled his own views on immigration or is contractually required to refer to undocumented immigrants as “illegals.”’ Spoken like someone who is contractually obligated to refer to foreigners in the USA illegally as “undocumented immigrants”.
Clearly, this Bloomberg contributor considers people who illegally entered the country to be welcome. It’s fine for them to be here. There’s just been some sort of paperwork SNAFU. “I’m so very sorry; we seem to have lost your reservation. Give us a sec and we’ll have you on your way in no time. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
They just have no “documents”. Except for that, they’re as good as anyone who followed the rules and entered the country legally. And has documents. I suspect that the author does not even acknowledge that the persons to whom she applies the “undocumented immigrants” label are even here illegally.
IMO, we cannot accurately** use the term “undocumented immigrants” to refer to all immigrants in the country illegally simply because many of them are in fact documented. They have been picked up by I.C.E. and dispatched to some American city where they settle in to await their deportation hearing (which they will likely ignore). They’ve been documented (some of them for the umpteenth time) and are known to FedGov. And they are still here illegally.
Donald Trump raised a shitstorm after opining that many illegals are criminals. But aren’t ALL persons present in the country illegally criminal by definition? Personally, I think we ignore their illegality at our peril. What kind of relationship can we expect with people who started off on Day One breaking our laws?
Every immigrant in the country illegally is an insult to all the immigrants who followed the rules. Not to mention an insult to Americans, whose country they chose to invade.
I think that whatever term we use must include “illegal”, lest we lose sight of this pertinent fact, and should not include “immigrant” since an immigrant is one who had moved permanently to a new country. Use of “immigrant” is thus a concession to their permanence. “Alien” is the better term to use without conceding permanence.
Thus, I’ll stay with “illegal alien”.
One illegal alien objected to “alien” because it made him feel like he was “from Mars” or some such — uncomfortable. Taking into mind the comfort of this illegal alien, maybe we should settle on “illegal foreigner”. On what grounds can anyone object to that?
Likewise, there are many who insist that we should refer to black persons as “African Americans”. I eschew that term again because of accuracy. There days it is increasingly likely that the black person you see on the street is not in fact even American, so “African American” may well be inaccurate, not to mention possibly insulting.