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- 05-16-2012, 01:45 PM #1
Illegal Immigration Glossary; words of meaning and manipulation
Illegal Immigration Glossary; words of meaning and manipulation
Scranton Immigration Policy Examiner
One needs to understand the word to understand the message
Words matter; they have meaning. Understanding the meaning of the word is essential in understanding the meaning of the message.
Often times, words have quite similar spellings yet disparate meanings. Take, for example, the words literal and liberal. They sound alike and are, indeed, nearly identical in spelling with only one letter being different. Yet, their respective definitions are distinct, to say the least. Literal means actual, factual, exact, verbatim or free from exaggeration or embellishment. Liberal means the exact opposite; not literal or strict, loose, broadminded.
In other words, when it comes to discussion, debate or argument, literal is true and liberal is false; literal is right and liberal is wrong. No better illustration of this dynamic exists than in the realm of illegal immigration where words are employed by alien apologists to convey a sense of propriety where it doesn't belong.
So, let's take a look at the the typical glossary of terms involved in the discussion of the scourge of our society, illegal immigration, and how the words are used by each side. We'll begin with a word that both sides should agree on, citizen. According to Merriam-Webster, a citizen (as it applies to this topic) is “a native or naturalized person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to protection from it.” In the United States, one becomes a citizen in either of three ways; by being born on U.S. soil, by being born to citizen parents while abroad, or by applying for citizenship. Per definition, citizenship is a sort of implied contract in which the individual pledges allegiance to a particular nation (government) and in return receives protection from it. Easy enough?
A national is defined as being an individual who is a citizen of any country other than the United States. Hence, if one is born in another country and is not “naturalized” they are not American citizens but rather are foreign nationals. Of course, the definition of naturalization is “The process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act.” Hence, when a foreign national follows the legal process to become an American citizen, they are considered to be naturalized. As such, they are entitled to the same rights and privileges as you and I, with the exception of being able to serve as President.
Moving right along, we arrive at the word immigrant. By Merriam-Webster's definition, an immigrant is a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence. The assumption is that all who take up residence in another country do so lawfully. Therefore, we must look to our government's definition of immigrant, which is “An alien who has been granted the right by the U.S. government to reside permanently in the United States and to work without restrictions in the United States.” A legal immigrant is also known as a lawful permanent resident. Hence, as in the case of a naturalized citizen, an immigrant is one who has entered our country legally and has been granted permission to remain here. Of course, legal immigration requires following a certain process and obtaining certain documents, which leads us to the next word of meaning.
If those who are (legal) immigrants possess certain documents, then those who enter the country illegally would be lacking those documents, making them undocumented. In fact, the very definition of undocumented is “Not supported by documentary evidence” or “Lacking required documentation for legal immigration or residence.” In other words, an immigrant is a legal resident and possesses documentation to prove it. An illegal immigrant is really not an immigrant at all, for they have not been granted the right to enter or remain in our country and therefore lack the documents which all immigrants possess. It is to this latter group of people (illegally) residing in the United States that our government has given another name, leading us to our next word.
Merriam-Webster defines an alien as “Relating, belonging or owing allegiance to another country or government: Foreign.” Clear enough, but just in case there's any doubt, our government defines alien as “Any person not a citizen or national of the United States.” By this standard, someone visiting from a foreign country with a tourist visa and valid passport is an alien, simply because they are not American. They may be here legally (at least for the moment), but they are still aliens. Also by this standard, a foreign national who entered and/or lives in this country and does not have proper documentation is an alien. Furthermore, the lack of documentation represents a breaking of our immigration laws, which makes their undocumented status a criminal act, thereby making the title of illegal alien not only wholly appropriate but necessary to distinguish them from documented (legal) aliens.
There are additional words employed by alien apologists which should immediately raise a red flag, as they are often used to manipulate. One of the most common words is diversity. Defined as “The condition of having or being composed of differing elements; variety, especially: the inclusion of different types of people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization.”
On face value, both the word and its use seem harmless, even sensible. After all, no one individual should be excluded from anything based simply on race or culture, right? But, the word diversity is too often used as a weapon with which to beat people whose opposition to the individual (or group) lies not in their skin color or nationality but rather in behavior and/or principle. One such example would be the suggestion that being opposed to rap music (and the attending culture) makes one racist, when the individual may simply not care for the style of music and/or gangster mentality common among those who embrace it. An even more common example employed by the liberal set is the suggestion that removing or desiring the removal of aliens from our society would represent a lack of diversity and probably represents a xenophobic disposition at best, a racist disposition at worst.
Another such word would be DREAMER, as in those who support or would benefit from passage of the DREAM Act. The literal definition of the word would be hard to object to, “One that dreams; one who lives in a world of fancy or imagination; one who has ideas or conceives projects regarded as impractical:visionary.” Henry Ford was a visionary, daring to dream of a car the average family could afford, helping to transform a nation through the realization of his vision. Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak are others, turning the monstrosities of complexity which used to be computers into a household appliance most of us can no longer live without. Their inventions have made life easier on all Americans while creating millions of jobs and inspiring millions of young men and women to achieve the American dream. And therein lies the rub, for the American dream is all about perseverance and hard work. It never has been and never should be about rewarding people, or the children of people who disregard our laws and borders, invariably encouraging others to do the same.
Finally, other words have recently crept into the lexicon of illegal immigration, humane being one. Most famously suggested by failed republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich to describe his approach to dealing with the more than ten million (conservative estimate) aliens currently bleeding our country dry, humane means, “Marked by compassion, sympathy or consideration for humans or animals.”And compassionate is defined as, “Sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it.”
Sympathy is a good thing but, unfortunately, is commonly misplaced. There is no logic is extending sympathy to those distressed due to their own actions and behaviors, such as aliens who knowingly enter and/or remain in this country illegally. A “compassionate” approach to dealing with them most typically allows them to remain here, which of course will by followed by the presence of additional family members not to mention millions of additional aliens who are encouraged by their successful bypassing of immigration law. But that compassion does not extend to the American taxpayer who foots the bill for the various expenses created by aliens, nor does it extend to the average English speaking citizen who is increasingly forced to deal with non-native languages (mostly Spanish), nor the unemployed American citizen who struggles to stay afloat while millions who don't belong here not only earn a living but remit arge quantities of their earnings back to their native country. So, much like the rights extended to all American citizens, alleviation of others' distress is an admirable thing, up to the point at which affects (read harms) others.
Literal or liberal? It all boils down to legal versus illegal, secure borders versus open borders, national prosperity versus national poverty, homogeneity versus heterogeneity.
As a side note, some very interesting alternate definitions exist for a few of the words used in this debate. For instance, alien can also be defined as “Differing in nature or character typically to the point of incompatibility”and immigrant can also be defined as “A plant or animal that becomes established in an area where it was previously unknown.”
Illegal Immigration Glossary; words of meaning and manipulation - Scranton Immigration Policy | Examiner.comIf a man sneaks into your home he is a burglar, not an undocumented tenant you must provide for!