The First Rule of Illegal Immigration is No One Talks About Illegal Immigration

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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Liberals love euphemisms the way that goats love eating rotten apples. But the problem with euphemisms is that they eventually take on the derogatory meaning of the thing they were trying to slowly back away from. Retarded started out as a euphemism to replace slow which was a euphemism started to replace moron which was also… you get the idea.

Liberals insisted that we use illegal immigrant to replace illegal alien which replaced more insulting terms. Now they are insisting that we use undocumented immigrant. And according to the LA Times, even undocumented immigrant is a bridge too far.

“Illegal immigrants” is overly broad and does not accurately apply in every situation. The alternative suggested by the 1995 guidelines, “undocumented immigrants,” similarly falls short of our goal of precision. It is also untrue in many cases, as with immigrants who possess passports or other documentation but lack valid visas.

The umm quest for precision naturally led the LA Times to eliminate precision entirely.

Use the term “illegal immigration” to describe the phenomenon of entering or residing in a country in violation of the law. Avoid using “illegal immigrant” or “undocumented immigrant” to describe individuals except when necessary in direct quotations.

Refusing to categorize individuals is not precision. It’s political correctness. But the left is understandably trying to dodge the euphemism treadmill knowing that any word that they use to describe illegal aliens will take on derogatory connotations. So in true Newspeak style, they are going to eliminate the term entirely.

But that just leaves everyone free to default to the core term, illegal alien, while the LA Times hacks worry about being bought out by the Koch Brothers and find new creative ways to advocate an amnesty for illegal aliens without using of any of those terms.

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    When the idea is to "kosher" a pig, then of course one doesn't talk about the pig! Of course illegal immigration is meant to overturn/overwhelm the system, thus silence is mandatory – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/10/20/what-are-the-

    To wit, to be silent is to agree with said lawbreaking!

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      NewsSpeak.

  • Cmj

    We must never label people what they are, otherwise the voters would be informed enough to make the right choice and we can't have that kind of silliness.

  • http://www.clarespark.com clarespark

    See http://clarespark.com/2010/09/29/stephen-colbert-…. I changed the title to "Stephen Colbert doesn't see Labor." With Colbert's sister leading Sanford in South Carolina polling, I thought this was a good opportunity to out Colbert as a dilettante in labor politics.

  • Randy CA

    I like "Trespassing Foreigners" which I came across in a Supreme Court ruling.

  • Questions

    If I see one more article referring to people who are illegally in the U.S. as "undocumented," I may howl at the moon. Even in the literal sense, this is an imprecision of speech. Illegal immigrants have plenty of documents with them. They just have a high propensity to be forged, including Social Security cards and driver's licenses.

    • Larry

      They are stealing the term "undocumented" from the pro-illegal immigration mob here in Australia.

      Those are the ones that fly through two or three countries to muddy the trail and then go to Indonesia where they get on a boat. As soon as they leave Indonesia they throw all their documents overboard to further muddy the trail.

      Real refugees, which these purport to be, hang on to their documentation like grim death, as it is what enables them to prove their case.

  • StopTheInvasion

    La Razza Racist Illegal Alien Terrorist Criminal Invaders is what they are.

  • don't-be-fooled

    WE ARE IN A FANTASY WORLD USED BY BUSINESS AND POLITICS ROUTINELY. FOR INSTANCE, WHEN DID THE TERM 'POWER FAILURE' BECOME 'OUTAGE' AND WHY? CAN YOU MAKE THE TRUTH GO AWAY BY PRETENDING IT DOES NOT EXIST? THAT IS THE QUESTION.

  • oatka

    “Illegal immigrants” is overly broad and does not accurately apply in every situation. The alternative suggested by the 1995 guidelines, “undocumented immigrants,” similarly falls short of our goal of precision. ”

    If we work it right, we can devolve it into “Undocumented Democrats”. Let’s also try “The Gang of Ocho” instead of parroting another of the media’s euphemisms, “The Gang of Eight”.

  • Jim

    1984 rides again.

  • http://www.alipac.us/f31/barack-obamas-citizenship-questioned-129743/index531.html MinutemanCDC_SC

    An immigrant is one who has left one country and taken up residence in another.
    An alien is one who is not a citizen of the country in which he is now present.
    Some individuals are both immigrants and aliens;
    some are immigrants but no longer aliens; and
    some are aliens passing through, who will not remain in the country and become immigrants.

    A foreigner is a citizen of another country, foreign to the present context.
    An alien is anyone who is presently outside the country of which he is a citizen: presumably a foreigner in the present country, but instead of a foreigner, he could be an expatriate, a native of the present country who later became a citizen of another country.
    However, a foreigner is not an alien when he is present in his own country.

    Immigrant, alien, foreigner, native – they all mean different things, but there is some overlap.

    Of course, when political correctness insinuates euphemisms and deceit, words lose their meanings and their moorings, cutting language loose and setting it adrift.

    “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master— that’s all.”

    “Through the Looking Glass” by Lewis Carroll (1871)

  • Bobby

    So the solution is what? Be quiet and allow the left to totally ruin the U.S. Americans, are easily the most asleep public of any nation in the entirer world. If

  • taxedmore

    If somebody breaks the law – they are doing something illegal. If an immigrant is breaking the immigration laws by being here, they are an illegal immigrant. Period.
    What do the Politically Correct "news" organizations call murderers and killers and rapists and terrorists? Have they found some warm and fuzzy politically correct names for those people that doesn't offend them?

  • Bobby

    I just call them BORDER CRIMINALS, which is exacty what they are. They have no permission to be in this nation, and every poltician, from the White House to the Congress to the Senate, knows it and is in violation of their sworn duties to serve the citiizens of the U.S. and its laws, and should therefore be arrested, fined and penalized, EXACTLY AS IS PRESCRIBEDBED BY EXISTING U.S. IMMIGRATION LAW.

  • Bobby

    Well you see, LAWS HAVE ALREADY BEEN WRITTEN THAT MAKE DISAGREEING WITH ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION A HATE CRIME. Yes, the left will accuse anyone who speaks or gives an opinion no matter how rational on the effects of illegal immigration on American citizens a hater, a nativist, a nazi, someone that believes in "exclusion", etcetc. and if the left can, they will get that person fired or threaten them in some other way, thus, you've got every newsman and news agency on the side of the illegal foriegn nationa, rather than on the side of the American citizen.