The Corner

National Security & Defense

Euphemism du Jour: ‘Spontaneous Arrivals’

An indication of the unpopularity of the anti-borders position is the ubiquity of euphemism. Immigration being an Up vs. Down issue, rather than the conventional Right vs. Left, anti-borders elites have to use their cultural sway to transform even the utterance of certain ungood words into crimethink.

For example, the National Council of La Raza concluded from focus-group research that Mexican President Vicente Fox should avoid the word “amnesty” during his September 2001 visit to Washington to confer with President Bush about their joint push for amnesty. The replacements they suggested to him for the normal, universally used word for letting illegal immigrants stay were “regularization” or “legalization.” Other euphemisms used over the years have been “normalization,” “earned adjustment,” and “comprehensive immigration reform.”

Likewise with “illegal alien.” Jimmy Carter’s INS director, Leonel Castillo, mainstreamed the adjective “undocumented” to replace “illegal” regarding aliens. Now even “illegal immigrant” is verboten in the Legacy Media. The AP stylebook entry on the subject says, in part, “use illegal only to refer to an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant.”

Now, even “illegal immigration” is being stigmatized. The new euphemism out of Europe is “spontaneous arrival,” as in “The [UK] government has gone to great lengths to reduce spontaneous arrivals, such as spending millions on fences and sniffer dogs at the French port of Calais.”  I haven’t seen it used yet with regard to the United States in the general-interest media, but you’ll know the euphemism has arrived if and when Josh Earnest refers to the Central American illegal aliens still being waved across the border into South Texas as “spontaneous arrivals from Central America.”

Confucius says: “If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things.” Amen, brother.

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