Calling an illegal immigrant an "undocumented immigrant" is like calling someone who is breaking and entering into your home an "undocumented tenant".

This is coming from a person who believes illegal immigrants are not worth our time or money to prevent and, if we werent a welfare state, I'd be pushing for open borders.

@freemo should we call people "illegals" when they drive 30 in a 20? No, we call them a speeder. We describe the crime they committed. That's the same thing with "undocumented immigrant"; it describes what they did.

Relatedly, why is "illegal" never used to refer to someone from Britain or Canada who overstayed their visa, it seems to only be used to refer to brown skinned people (citizen, documented, or undocumented)

@trianglman "illegal immigration" and "illegal immigrant" refers to the the action of immigration being illegal.

So yes we DO. When someone drives 30 in a 20 zone we say they are "illegally driving", or "illegal driving" or if we want to be specific "illegal speeding".

So yes we do it all the time, when someone does something illegally we call that act illegal, nothing new there.

@freemo Immigration is not illegal. This sort of blurring is why this semantic argument matters. The usage of "illegal immigrant" (or worse, just "illegals") is a dog whistle to say brown people aren't welcome here.

Pretty much outside of this analogy, "illegal driver" is not used. Especially not in comparison with "speeder" (if they were interchangeable, even if one was not as popular, you'd expect a closer split; this split is as close to no correlation as you can get)

Bend over backward and lie to yourself to justify this bigotry all you want, but don't try to pretend to the rest of the world that it's the logical or just action.

@trianglman That makes no sense, of COURSE immigration can be illegal. A country makes laws, they make certain things illegal, one of those things is immigrating without permission.

Obviously if you say or behave in a way that suggests you have bias against brown, white or any other people based solely on skin tone then yes you are wrong, that should be called out. However as i pointed out with my own expiernce in holland that is not the case. The term is used fairly equally for anyone who immigrates illegally and when it isnt used equally then by all means call out the people who dont use it equally.

Trying to redefine the word or make the word itself off-limits does nothing to create that equality other than waste everyones time and energy however, as with anything on the euphemism treadmill.

@freemo Outside of North Korea (and I'm not even sure it's the case there) in what country is any form of entering that country considered illegal? This is what I'm talking about. You keep proving my point by calling immigration broadly something that is illegal.

Your description of your experience in Holland is a perfect example of how differently you want to treat brown people from yourself. You expressly said you weren't 'an illegal', you were just in the country illegally. You described your actions and separated them from your being. Brown migrants however somehow are "illegal" no matter how long they're going to be in the country and often no matter the legality of their actions.

This isn't about making words "off limits" this is about requiring accuracy in language and demanding people's humanity be recognized.

@trianglman Who said ANY form? Some forms of immigrating are illegal, others are legal. If you do it illegally we call it, go figure, illegal, if you do it legally we call it legal.

So your assertion that "immigration is not illegal" is not true, sometimes it is, sometimes it isnt, depends on how you did it.

@freemo "immigration can be illegal" is like saying "driving can be illegal." It's bullshit and not talked about like that. Only someone trying to blur the lines between legal and illegal actions talk about illegal behavior so vaguely.

Usually it's done the other way ("I was just telling my investor friend about my work" or "I was just driving") because it's not usually used to excuse bigotry.

@trianglman Also the difference between "speeder" and "driver" really depends on contect. If for example a police officer was giving an announcement about how they were going to crack down on all sorts of illegal driving from DUI to speeding they might say "We want to get illegal drivers off the road". No one would bat an eye at this.

The only reason it sounds unusual is we dont usually have a context come up where it applies, namely a group of people doing illegal things under a particular category en mass. When we do this sort of language is perfectly natural.

@freemo @trianglman but your example absolutely disproves your point: traffic laws are amongst the most broken, and still I haven't heard the term "illegal drivers".

@cm in fairness, it was my analogy. He just accepted it.

@cm Because usually people arent refering to all people who break all laws as one group in a statement. If someone is specifically speeding then that is what is referenced. Only time youll hear something like "illegal drivers" would be in refernce to a crack down on all driving violations. Which as I said would be a rare statement to make.


@cm It is no different with illegal immigration. If they talk about a particular instance they are more specific. Instead of saying "He illegally immigrated" they might say "he crossed the border illegally". The only time "illegal immigrants" are used is when talking about the group en mass, and specifically of all forms of illegal immigration (cross border illegally, gettign a week travel visa and staying for years, etc).

Same as we might expect a cop talking about traffic. If it is the holiday and they are being specific to DUI they will say "Drunk drivers" because its more specific. There is rarely a crack down on all illegal drivers its usually a crack down on something specific like speeding or drunk driving.


This level of bigoted contortions is just sad. Just say you don't see these people as human and leave it at that.

"Illegal" is not used to describe any other human, regardless of their criminal behavior, no matter how much you say they could be. It is exclusively used to describe immigrants of color (here legally or not). It is incredibly less accurate than literally any other moniker you could come up with.

@trianglman Stop being a troll and go away now. Not only do I see them as human I am an immigrant living in another country, learning their language and at times having been an illegal immigrant.

We are not describing the human as illegal, we are describing the immigration as illegal, just as i used it to describe my own immigration status when I was in another country illegally.

I dont mind your argument or stance, but when you make it personal with absolutely no justification the only person who looks like a biggoted ass is you.


@freemo You expressly said you were NOT an illegal immigrant and didn't want anyone calling you one; you just joked about your actions being illegal. You're lying about things you said just a few toots ago.

You are describing the human as illegal. The phrase you use is "illegal immigrant" "illegal" is an adjective modifying the noun "immigrant" (a human). It is not an adverb not that there is a verb or adjective to modify. And that's where it's not just shortened to the noun "illegal."

I am 100% intolerant of bigotry. I wear that proudly. You want to dehumanize people, I will call you out on it and I will not tolerate it. You might not want to make it personal to you, but it absolutely is personal to the people you are dehumanizing.

@trianglman You read what you wanted to read, I never said I wasnt an illegal nor did I say i didnt want to be called one, but rather the exact opposit. I stated clearly that I was Illegal and would refer to myself as "illegal" as did my friends.

What i did say however is that the word "immigrant" didnt apply to me at the time because I didnt immigrate there at the time. I NEVER objected to the word illegal being used to refer to me, I gave the example of "being here illegally" but it also applys to many other terms used to describe me "Illegal visitor", "illegal resident" etc, all of which I used to describe myself and my friends did as well while there. I did go on to explain why the word "immigrant" didnt apply to me, but thats neither here nor there.

But hey whatever you need to tell yourself to keep justifying the trolling. Again, it isnt welcome here, nor is bigotry. But poiinting out something is illegal when it is in fact illegal is perfectly acceptable.

No one here wants to dehumanize people, thats just what you have convinced yourself so you could keep being an ass and everyone thinks your fighting the good fight. Agaain if you were talking to someone who actually was being mean to a particular race then by all means id support you. but your doing nothing but making an ass of yourself and what you stand for. So again, go away until you decide to actually not troll.

You literally are telling someone who was an illegal resident what they can or cant call themselves and others in the same boat as me and then trying to tell me I'm the one who is being the bigot.

@trianglman Also I am an american who overstayed my visa in holland by a few days. I refered to myself and my friends constantly referred to me as "being here illegally", the reason "illegal immigrant" didnt apply is because I didnt immigrate there, I went home just a few days late. But yea if i decided to stay and didnt leave of course I'd be an illegal immigrant to.

@trianglman @freemo I get what you're saying but at the same time undocumented immigrant sounds passive to me. Like the immigrant in question just packed their passport in the wrong bag or something.
Illegal immigration is a problem because there are laws in the US defining a legal process in order to immigrate here.
The only reason I can think illegal would be fitting is because an immigrant of questionable origin entire presence is illegal. Illegal seems to mainly be an adverb, illegal turn.

@freemo are you quoting somebody else there? Or is this your own opinion?
@freemo An 'undocumented tenant' is a squatter. Squatting unused property is enormously beneficial both to the squatters and the larger community they interact with. It helps alleviate pressure on housing and can bring different kinds of diversity to an area. It is especially good in terms of fostering creative projects and especially arts.
If one believes the most important aspect of communities is private property and rent-seeking, then such a person would obviously object to squatters, but for such a person the entire notion of community is secondary to seeing power at other's expense.
Of course, this metaphor completely falls apart in terms of migration because the US is not private property and migrants tend to hold jobs and pay rent and taxes. The tax monies collected from all migrants, including undocumented ones, exceeds the amount of tax money allocated to programs that benefit them.
@freemo Calling someone 'illegal' is dehumanising and using false statistics to to aid scapegoating is a step further. While crops sit unpicked in California and the US is the relative freedom of LGBT people a cornerstone of its justification for aggressive foreign policy, the obstacles put in the path of asylum seekers and migrants generally are not helping anyone at all.
This ideology has a name and I'm afraid it's extremely unflattering.
@freemo Comparing your edgy humour about your experiences as a tourist to the actual experiences of migrants does not excuse or justify the views you've expressed.
I'd like to ask you to consider why you want to use dehumanising words to refer to migrants. Also, real numbers show migrants are helping to making funds available to a welfare state (such as it exists). You may also want to consider why you believe otherwise. What made this lie compelling? What did it make you feel emotionally? What do you feel when you think about migration? Who do you picture when you think of an undocumented migrant and what makes you want to put that person in their place?

@celesteh Simple

first I dont see it as dehumanizing, nor did I when it was used to describe me, nor does any of my friends who are illegal immigrants.

second I use it because it is a more accurate term than the alternative and I generally find the euphemism treadmill to be a waste of energy and causes more conflict than good in most cases.

You seem to be under the very faulty impression I somehow dont want migrants, even illegal ones. As I stated in my opening remarks, I do not feel we should waste any real money on deporting illegal immigrants,a nd I would even support completely open borders if it werent for the fact that welfare would make that impractical.

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