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What is an “unauthorized” immigrant

David Preston  Not trying to start a fight, but what’s with this new term “unauthorized”? That makes it sound like they’re trespassing or something.

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I like “illegal immigrants” because it’s both descriptive and neutral. They are immigrants and, yes, they are here illegally; that’s a fact. Some people object to the “illegal” because they think it’s prejudicial, but if you change that to “undocumented,” you gain syllables and lose descriptive power. (“Illegal immigrants” is actually an improvement over “illegal aliens” – which I would agree was a bit harsh.)
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It’s like upgrading “Blacks” to “African Americans.” That, too, was overkill. Even Blacks don’t use term very much, because it’s just too long, and it sounds like you’re taking on airs. Technically, I’m European American, but I would never say that, because frankly, it would sound retarded. Er . . . I mean developmentally disabled.


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