- 5 years ago
- Wedding: October 2012
I’ve seen this come up lately on the site with the media/politica hoopla pushing it. Someone says “illegal immigrant” to describe someone, often with other adjectives, in a post where this detail is not the main point and not even close, and people get upset and I’ve seen several just FREAK!!! (yes, CAPS with lots of !!!). If you want the TL:DR just read the bold parts.
The whole “illegal” vs “undocumented” immigrant is comical to me. Technically “undocumented” is LESS accurate than “illegal”, since plenty of immigrants have all kinds of documents (real and/or forged) that they use, some real documents even let them do things here legally while they are illegal immigrants. I lived in Atlanta about half my life. I never once heard an illegal immigrant use another term to describe their status, and they never seemed offended by it. They said it the same way as someone who’s license expired: “ya, I’m an illegal driver right now”. Does that last statement make anyone want to jump on and defend that poor driver for being derogitory about themself?
I’ve never heard someone say “that was an undocumented forward pass” meaning the pass was against the rules. Have you? Admittedly I don’t watch a lot of football/basketball, but I can’t recall hearing anything but “illegal pass”.
I agree saying “Jane is illegal” is not correct usage, because it’s only this one thing that she does that is illegal not Jane as a whole or as a person (and I think that’s where people get confused to what illegal means and how it is being used). “Jane is an illegal immigrant” is correct. Jane’s immigration status is not legal, she is here illegally, she is an “illegal immigrant”. It’s a fact. Nothing more, nothing less. Say Fred smokes marijuana, Fred is an “illegal marijuana smoker”. Even if Mary lives in a state that allows medical marijuana, but Mary doesn’t have a document from her doctor allowing her to legally smoke marijuana she is an “illegal marijuana smoker”. Do you feel that is derogitory towards Mary? She is illegally smoking marijuana just like an illegal immigrant is here illegally. I’m honestly curious if you would say someone is “an undocumented marijuana smoker”? So as not to offend them?
I don’t see why people try to put more meaning to it than there is. It says nothing about them personally except they broke the law coming (or staying) in the country… a fact. And for most they probably felt they had no choice. There are good ones and bad ones just like the rest of us, probably more good than bad since the bad ones get more attention.
If you want to do something to help them, help them find ways to become legal immigrants. Help ones who don’t speak English well or at all to learn so they can make a good life for themselves and not feel cut off from everything they knew. (I couldn’t imagine leaving a bad situation to go to a new country and not even speak the language… how lonely and lost I would feel). Help the ones who aren’t, but want to be, become productive members of our society. I don’t see how getting upset about accurate wording is doing anything to help them.
I’m sure this could start a flame war,and I’m sorry for it, but not sorry enough to not push for truth and honesty and I feel if you want to help them do something to actually help not ranting on a forum about what to call them. Because the inaccuracy and flaming to anything recently that had “illegal immigrant” in it is driving me bonkers! But I figured it was much better to start my own post, than to hi-jack someone else’s thread. I’m having my say here, and will leave it at that, the only place I will comment on this topic is here… then when I see the rants/flames on other threads I can just roll my eyes instead of want to point out facts each time.
If you disagree based on facts (not emotions or what media tells you to think and feel) I will respectfully read and think about what you have to say.
If you read the whole thing and actually gave it some thought, even if you still disagree, Thank you. I reserve the right respectfully agree to disagree. 🙂