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Posted 11-12-2007

Watch you Language: It has nothing to do with race.  It's about Legal verses Illegal.

In my role as CFIR Rally chair, I have had the opportunity to discuss the Illegal Alien issue with many people.  I have noticed that the opposing side was trying to change the meaning of words.  I have also seen well intentioned people fall into the trap and get sidetracked by their tactics.

In order to define our goals, we must define the words that we use to communicate our goals. As for goals of the CFIR group, we are very Pro-Immigrant. That is, we support "LEGAL Immigration". We want the laws enforced. After all, we will not be "indivisible" as a country and will not have "liberty and justice for all" if we do not apply the laws to everybody.

One of the main reasons the Pro-Illegal-Alien (PIA) side seems to control the debates is because they redefine the words of the discussion. This tactic helps make them look better and they try to make us look like racists because we want the laws enforced. Illegal Alien is not a race. We need to define the words to use them correctly and never use any race or nationality to define illegal aliens.

Using the online Webster dictionary at website, let’s define a few definitions: Immigrant, Illegal, and Alien.

  • DEF: immigrant; Function: noun; Date: 1789
    : one that immigrates: as a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence.
  • DEF: illegal; Function: adjective; Date: 1538
    : not according to or authorized by law : unlawful, illicit; also : not sanctioned by official rules
  • DEF: alien; Function: adjective; Date: 14th century
    a: belonging or relating to another person, place, or thing : strange
    b: relating, belonging, or owing allegiance to another country or government : foreign

The term “immigrant” is constantly used by the PIA’s to draw sympathy for their cause. Note that the definition is about permanent residence. An “Alien” cannot be permanent unless they do it legally. Therefore, an immigrant is a “legal alien” and the terms "Immigrant" and "Illegal Alien" mean two different things.

The term “Illegal Immigrant” is an oxymoron. These words should not be used together. What it really means is "Illegal-Legal-Alien". Immigrants cannot be illegal by definition.

The PIAs will use other terms to avoid saying they support Illegal Aliens: Migrant worker, undocumented Worker, Day Laborer. These terms can apply to American citizens and do not expressly mean “illegal alien”. Some Examples:

"Migrant" - This could be any American Citizen that lives in the North for the Summer and in the South for the Winter. You may know a few people like this. However, they are legal citizens.

"Undocumented Worker" - This could be any American Citizen that does not pay taxes or claims income, works for cash (i.e. waitresses, local handy man). Though wrong, it is not the issue.

“Day Laborer” - Though it is common knowledge that almost all Day Laborers in this area are Illegal Aliens, it is probable that a few are American Citizens. Again, this does not completely and accurately define illegal aliens.

To avoid using the term Illegal Alien, the PIAs will call us a racist. This is a good time to set the record straight. The only people that brought up race is them when they say racist. The question to ask is, “What race is Illegal Alien?” Usually, they support the racist group called "La Raza" which means "The Race". Can you imagine an Anglo group calling themselves "The Race"? As racists, they really only promote a certain look. La Raza does not show support for Anglo looking Germans or Asians that are here illegally. They only support those that are darker skin and hair color. Now who are the racists? But I digress, race is not the issue.

Stay focused. The issue is about Legal verses Illegal. Since Illegal is about breaking the law, we need to be sure that our words are not twisted and taken out of context.  It really is hard for the PIA side to argue against following the law and that we are Pro-Legal-Immigration.

That's the way I see it - John Gorena

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