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NY1 To Drop The Term “Illegal Immigrant”

New York’s 24 hour news network NY1 has become the latest major news outlet to drop the terms “illegals” and “Illegal immigrants” from its vocabulary. Last year, the Associated Press became the first nationwide news organization to ban the use of the term that many find offensive. Instead the term “undocumented” or “undocumented worker” is preferred. This simple question of terminology is a hot issue. Many people on the right defiantly use the term “illegals” even though they know that they shouldn’t. The argument being that these folks did break the law to come to the United States against the law and therefor are criminals. But to call someone an “illegal” is to negate who they are as a person. It’s like saying that it should be illegal for them to breath air. They are simply an immigrant.

I always tell my American anti-immigration friends this question, “Did your great-grandfather have papers when he got off the boat from Ireland or Italy or England?” Probably not. There were definitely procedures in place back then for immigrants as well. There were also forces back then that wanted to stop the immigration of Jews, Catholics, and other people they saw as undesirable. They were called the Know Nothings and they operated during the decades of the mid-19th century. Today we find ourselves in the new age of the Know Nothings only these guys use the police and the courts instead of clubs and knives to oppress recent immigrants. We are a nation of immigrants, unless you are a Native American, and we mostly all came here “illegally”. So, get over it.

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