A wealthy Hispanic executive who makes a fortune dealing with the Hispanic market is on the march to eradicate the term “illegal immigrant.” Charles Patrick Garcia, writing on the CNN website, lauds the U.S. Supreme Court for eschewing the use of “illegal immigrant” and instead utilizing the term “removable alien.” Garcia writes:
The court’s nonjudgmental language established a humanistic approach to our current restructuring of immigration policy.
When you label someone an “illegal alien” or “illegal immigrant” or just plain “illegal,” you are effectively saying the individual, as opposed to the actions the person has taken, is unlawful. The terms imply the very existence of an unauthorized migrant in America is criminal. In this country, there is still a presumption of innocence that requires a jury to convict someone of a crime. If you don’t pay your taxes, are you an illegal? What if you get a speeding ticket? A murder conviction? No. You’re still not an illegal. Even alleged terrorists and child molesters aren’t labeled illegals.
As usual, those who insist on obfuscating issues take advantage of parsing terms in order to delegitimize those terms. What Garcia does is to separate the two words “illegal” and “immigrant” and then conclude that their concomitant use is incorrect because the term illegal is incorrect. But Garcia conveniently misses the point: the terms are used together because their use is to define the people described as having performed an illegal act; they have illegally crossed the border.
Garcia has demonstrated his supercilious disdain for US citizens who try to protect our borders before; on an interview on CNN in March of this year, while lambasting those who use the term “illegal immigrant,” Garcia imitated the lawman who would stand against illegal immigration:
And the language of illegal – you see, I think on our shoulder we have the proverbial angel, and we have the devil over here who’s dressed up as Wyatt Earp. And Wyatt Earp is the law man, and he uses the term illegal. “They’re just a bunch of il-legal aliens, and they’re takin’ away our jobs, and they don’t pay taxes, and they’re free-loaders, and Martha, we should just build a thousand-foot wall and –
Yup. Those of us who stand for lawful immigration are jest a bunch of hick fellers with pitchforks. And we’re the devil, too. Hey, Martha, ya got those grits on the hellfire stove ready yet?