Nichols: Keep the ‘illegal in ‘illegal alien’

Ian Nichols

Once again, political correctness is coming up. Back in the late ’70s, the term “undocumented immigrant” began to be used instead of “illegal immigrant” by those people who didn’t want to offend anyone. Now this term is being brought up again by the same people.

Why is this change in terminology being brought up again? The term “undocumented immigrants” is purposely incorrect in order to sway the public in favor of special interest groups and only clouds the reality of the situation. Not using the term “illegal” makes this seem like it isn’t wrong. By saying they are only undocumented, the perception is just that they don’t have a piece of paper.

The term “illegal alien,” being broader in scope, is the accurate term to use. An immigrant is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as a person who migrates to another country for permanent residence. Permanent residence implies you plan on living in the country to which you immigrated. Illegal is defined as something that is forbidden by law or statute. I am a legal immigrant from South Korea. I did it the correct way, with my parents filling out the appropriate documentation as I was still a child when I came to the United States.

Now how about taking it one step further. How would an illegal alien be defined? Alien is defined as a resident born in or belonging to another country who has not acquired citizenship by naturalization. So the correct terminology for the each of the approximately 12 million to 20 million people illegally in the United States is “illegal alien.” This term is broader and more accurate because it includes undocumented aliens and nonimmigrant visa overstayers. Roughly 60 percent of the illegal alien population are undocumented aliens and about 40 percent are nonimmigrant visa overstayers.

That foreigners are here illegally is something people should be better aware of. Immigration law is a criminal law, and you will be deported. Yes, people here illegally already should be prosecuted, too. Just because they are already living in the United States doesn’t make it right. For an example, if the police only saw you go inside the vault when you are robbing a bank and they did not see you break in, should you be allowed to stay and continue doing something illegal?

In politics now, illegal immigration is a key topic. One of the key platforms of many Republican candidates is to secure the borders and to deport the illegals. One of my favorite quotes on securing our borders comes from former presidential candidate Herman Cain. He said that we should put up an electric fence along the Mexican border with a moat with alligators. While this may be a little extreme, it is true that this is a problem that may take drastic measures to deal with.

Others don’t want this. They believe the government should use our tax dollars to pay for education for the children of these illegal aliens. In 2010, Arizona Sen. Russell Pearce attempted to pass legislation so taxpayers wouldn’t have to pay for illegal aliens’ children. He received quite a bit of criticism for proposing this.

Because of these different party viewpoints, which party do you think these illegals will vote for? Now, I am not saying that all Hispanic-Americans are illegal aliens; I am just going to state now that the most common and most-heard-of illegal aliens are Mexicans and Cubans.

The Hispanic population has always been a key part to the Democrat campaigns. In the 2008 presidential election, exit polls showed that the Hispanic vote went 67 percent to Barack Obama. They would lose quite a large voter base with new immigration laws.

Burglars are not called “uninvited house guests.” Carjackers are not called “underrated drivers.” Bank robbers are not called “people who make unauthorized withdrawals.” Illegal aliens should not be called “undocumented immigrants.”

I am not being racist by saying people of other races should have to come to this country legally. When those who support the rule of law are called racist, those who oppose the rule of law should be deemed anti-American. If you want to come to the United States, by all means do — but do it the right way.