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" books.google.com/ngrams/graph? (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.

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@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.

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@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.

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