At times, usage of words play an important role in various debates and especially in debates related to immigration. Undocumented immigrants in the United States are being referred to as “illegal immigrants” or “illegal aliens”. Many non-profit groups in America consider that the term “illegal immigrant” is dehumanizing and many such organizations are found to come out with resolutions against the usage of such dehumanizing terms.
Some words that are used to refer to the undocumented immigrants, such as “illegal alien” and “anchor baby” are considered to be offensive and wrong. Many non-profit groups argue that it is not right to refer to a person as illegal. Moreover, the term “alien” means “non-human” and so it must not be used to refer to a human being.
Many American states are taking efforts to completely abolish the usage of such terms in all verbal and written correspondences. Organizations, that are against the usage of the term “illegal immigrant,” state that an immigrant who enters the country illegally does not commit a criminal offense. Entering the United States illegally and residing there is only a civil offense.
Reports state that many undocumented immigrants in the United States have relatives and family members who are US citizens. There are numerous undocumented immigrants in the United States who had entered the country at a very young age and call the United States their home. Hence, it is not right to refer to the undocumented immigrants as “illegal” just because they do not have legal papers.
Founder of the Define American Campaign and journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas, has been asking the organizations to stop the usage of the term “illegal” and he also says that this term must not be used to refer to an undocumented immigrant as the term “illegal” is dehumanizing and inaccurate. He is also talking about the issue with various standard editors and the editors of The Times and The Associated Press, to put an end to the usage of the term “illegal.” He hopes that all the editors will change their policies in the near future.