(Closed) Vent: "Illegal immigrant" vs "undocumented immigrant"

posted 5 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
Member
3183 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I break the law almost every day.  There is a no right on red sign at the end of my street, and I almost always take a right on red.  I also sometimes drive a little bit on my neighbors drive way because our driveways are right next to each other.  And sometimes I go into the neighbors yard to get the ball if my dog kicks it over.  I wouldn’t call refer to myself as “Law Breaker Natalie”

 

Post # 5
Member
3183 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@MrsTangerine:  The difference is using the term “illegal” to describe an action, rather than a person.  Law breaker Natalie gives the impression that my whole identity is wrapped up in breaking the law.  Most people who deal with immigration would use “a person with undocumented status” or something to that effect.

Like in special ed they will usually use “person first language” so instead of saying “austistic child” they will say “a child with autism.”  

Also on a side note, immigrant only refers to someone who plans on staying here for the duration of their life, so most of the people you think of wouldn’t even qualify for the term immigrant. 

And on a bigger side note, it may not be a crime to use the driveway, but it is trespassing and my neighbor could sue me if he really wanted. 

Post # 6
Member
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@MrsTangerine:  I disagree. I don’t feel comfortable defining someone as a criminal for being undocumented. It’s so dehumanizing. 

Post # 7
Member
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I forgot to add, I find illegal immigrant to be offensive in the same way that I find “that’s so gay” or “retarded” or “handicapable” to be offensive. So, yes, if I hear them in an unrelated conversation or read them in a post, I will say something, because in the back of my mind, I always think of the fact that someone who could be truly hurt by misguided words could be reading/hearing those things. I’m passionate about treating others with compassion, so respectfully asking others to do the same is something I feel strongly about. 

Post # 8
Member
7293 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

So wait, I’m just trying to get to the crux of your vent. You don’t like it when media/society uses “undocumented immigrant” in an effort to not say ” illegal immigrant” as not to sound overly harsh or offensive?

Post # 9
Member
150 posts
Blushing bee

@MsMonkey:  Yes, exactly. 

OP, I am curious why this distinction bothers you so much.  I do not agree with your suggestions in bold. Most of our undocumented workers are very productive members of our communities and society. The only way that we can help them become more productive would be to look at why they are here in the first place and help to rectify those issues (for example, gangs/violence/drug wars, globalization, etc). What many do not realize is that the United States is an incredibly large player in creating our current transnational economy and such we, in concert with others who seek alliances at the expense of their people, have created the environment in which people cannot subsist in their home countries and are forced to come. Because of us, it is impossible for people to survive in their home countries yet we also make it “illegal” for them to be here. 

Post # 11
Member
3183 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

No it wouldn’t bother me, because you would be describing the action I took, not me as a person, which was the point I was trying to make earlier.  “The person entered the country illegally” is different from “the person is an illegal immigrant.”

Post # 13
Member
7908 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

Furthermore, being an undocumented alien is a civil offense, not a criminal one, so it not technically “illegal” anyway.

Post # 16
Member
7908 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

@MrsTangerine:  In legal contexts, “illegal” is supposed to be reserved for criminal activity, not civil activity, unless also criminal.

The topic ‘Vent: "Illegal immigrant" vs "undocumented immigrant"’ is closed to new replies.

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