Illegal immigrant’ is the uncomfortable truth
Charlie has written, in a thought-provoking column for CNN.com, that the phrase “illegal immigrant” is “biased” and “racially offensive.” He also implied that it’s a “slur” and — borrowing language from George Orwell — a “worn-out and useless phrase.”
I also think that illegal immigrants are more of a positive than a negative. They make a contribution to the U.S. economy, do jobs Americans won’t do, replenish the American spirit with hope and optimism and often raise good kids with a work ethic and strong traditional values that put the native-born to shame. They’re not a liability. They’re an asset.
But, c’mon. These people are not saints. With the exception of DREAM Act kids involuntarily brought here by their parents, these people did something wrong. Illegal immigrants either overstayed a visa or crossed a border without authorization. That was wrong. Then many of them doubled down on the misdeed by using fake documents to procure employment or not paying income taxes on money earned, even though the federal government has set up an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number that allows illegal immigrants to pay taxes.
If that sounds harsh, blame my upbringing. I’m the grandson of a Mexican immigrant who came to the United States legally during the Mexican Revolution and my father spent 36 years as a cop. It’s in my DNA to not make excuses for wrongdoing.
At some point in time, again with the exception of DREAM’ers, someone did something bad. That doesn’t make them bad people. But they broke the law. We’re not talking about criminal law, and so they’re not “criminals.” Immigration law is based in civil law, and that’s why those who break it get deported and not imprisoned. But these people are still lawbreakers, and — by definition — illegal immigrants. by Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Editor’s note: Ruben Navarrette is a CNN.com contributor and a nationally syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group.
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Stephen K. Tills specializes in Immigration Law, Visa Law, and Waivers to the USA for 17 years. He is often at the Detention Center in Batavia, (New York) for the detainee cases. You may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the contact form on www.TillsVisalaw.com websites