The Corner

More Illegal-Alien Euphemisms

Some feedback from my earlier post: Harry Reid called them “Undocumented Americans.” The New York Times, “would be Americans.” Some more pedestrian examples: “irregulars” or irregular immigrants, “unauthorized entrant” or “unauthorized migrants,” “undocumented job-seeker,” or just “immigrant,” eliminating even a semantic distinction between legal and illegal aliens.

And readers sent along some more playful ideas: “future Democrats,” “documentationally challenged,” “aliens of well-intentioned but dubious legality,” “documentally challenged persons,” “undocumented reciprocal ex-pats,” “Future Americans Pending Amnesty” (or FAPA for short), and “in-sourced laborers.”

And a tale of how euphemism can be hazardous to your health:

Recently uttered by my grandmother (hardened liberal Unitarian): “I don’t call them illegal immigrants, I call them the ‘upwardly mobile’.”

I don’t really remember what happened next because my husband’s head exploded from holding back what he wanted to say and I spent the rest of the night putting his brains back together with Laphroaig and taping his hair back on.

And of course the open-borders crowd doesn’t like “alien” either:

Just a note, when I was living in the US on a visa, my wife, kids and I were all ‘non-resident aliens’. Besides the ‘illegal’ part, a lot of open-borders types oppose the term ‘alien’. It’s so cold and, you know, descriptive. If it’s good enough for those allowed to be in the country legally, it should be good enough for everyone else.

Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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