Illegal or undocumented?

Referring to an illegal alien as “illegal” in unscripted remarks during his State of the Union Address this past Thursday, President Biden inadvertently offended a core Democratic constituency (i.e., illegal aliens). That could not stand and it didn’t. As John notes nearby, Biden recanted and apologized within 48 hours.

Illegal or undocumented — which is the correct term. As a matter of fact, “Illegal alien” is the correct term.

When we got married, my wife was an illegal alien. Having graduated from law school and been hired by Hennepin County District Judge Robert Bowen as a law clerk, she applied for a work visa. In response she received a letter from the INS apprising her that her student visa had expired and that she was out of status. She applied for legal residency.

We went down to the local INS office for an interview. We had been advised that we would be asked a few questions to establish that our marriage was bona fide — not a fraudulent exercise undertaken solely to allow an illegal immigrant to escape deportation. As it turned out, we appeared to be the only bona fide couple of the four or five with us in the waiting room. And this was early in the Reagan years.

In the course of the interview, the INS officer asked me what toothpaste “the alien” used. It seemed funny because “the alien” was sitting next to me at the time, but we took no offense. We thought it was funny and I was happy to ace the quiz.

Today a question in that form would probably get the guy fired. Today the prescribed term is “undocumented.” Today that is the term on which the Democrats insist. Today it is the term that every mainstream media outlet (including Fox News) uses. What’s happening here?

What’s happening is the blessing of illegal immigration and the destruction of citizenship. The left seeks to break down our resistance to illegal immigration by means of a mandated euphemism. It’s an Orwellian device. The phenomenon of illegal immigration is not even to be described with tolerable accuracy. The underlying distinction is to be rendered meaningless.

As I say, illegal aliens have become a core constituency of the Democrats. To illegal aliens the left requires that the knee must be bent. I’m not sure why Fox News is compliant. It is frankly disgusting.

My wife became a naturalized American citizen in June 1984, just before the birth of our first daughter. It was one of the happiest days of our lives. She is a proud American citizen.

Here I speak for my wife and me. We support enforcement of the law. We oppose illegal immigration. We do not seek to accommodate it. We do not respect it. We desire the return of illegal immigrants to their home country or deportation to some other place. We do not want to support them with our tax dollars. We are sickened by the invasion of illegal aliens promoted by Biden and the Biden administration. The abuse of the English language that accompanies it is the least of it, but it deserves at least to be noted.

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