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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

delawareonline | The News Journal | Immigrants: We aren't criminals
If you snuck into the country in violation of immigration laws, you are a criminal.

This article continues one of my great pet peeves: the use of the terms "undocumented resident" (or "undocumented immigrant"). "Undocumented" is a deliberate attempt to evade the issue; it makes it sound like there was some bureaucratic mixup, instead of acknowledging the truth: they deliberately and willfully evaded the law. In truth, as I saw pointed out somewhere once, they're not even immigrants; immigrants go through the immigration process. Illegal aliens haven't.

We can't have an honest debate over immigration policy when one side chooses terms that misrepresent the truth.

I'm generally pro-immigration, but firmly against illegal immigration. For one, allowing people into the country illegally undermines respect for the law. Secondly, one of the main goals of the immigration process is not just to keep track of who's here, but also to help acclimatize new citizens and residents to our culture and history to maintain societal cohesion. Ignoring this process shortcircuits that goal and threatens the stability of our country.

This is one of those issues that both major parties get wrong. In general, Republicans like the cheap (and illegal) labor illegal aliens provide, while Democrats like their votes come Election Day. I think some Republicans are starting to wake up to it and some Democrats smell a political opportunity. (For example, Hillary's making noise about cracking down on illegal immigration.) I hope it doesn't get treated merely as a political issue, and our leaders figure out the best solution to this issue. The current situation we have now is a bad one, and one that cannot stand.

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