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It is bigoted to use the term, "Illegal Alien."

So called democrats here use the term with impunity and then pull out the historical revisions to justify their bigotry.

Words matter.

We need to stop calling others, "Illegal Aliens."

Before the bigoted right wing appropriated the term and its use became so widespread that even so called democrats use the term, the common usage was, "Undocumented Alien."

It is bigoted to call a human, "Illegal."

I am serious about this.

Stop it, or STFU!

UPDATE:

Alien is just as onerous. Undocumented Immigrant should be the proper appellation.

I love ya, now STFU already!

UPDATE II:

Have eleven HR's and counting so far on one comment; which could ban me; for saying, bullshit and STFU... on the web... on a liberal blog I have been part of for over 6 years. Is cool though. I have been putting up with bigoted bullshit since I was a kid fighting for Civil Rights with our parents. Even Martin Luther King warned the greatest danger comes from those who are ostensibly on your side. Proof is below; while the diary is still able to be seen.

Originally posted to The Justice Department on Netroots Radio.com on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:18 PM PST.

Also republished by Netroots Radio, LatinoKos, Black Kos community, and White Privilege Working Group.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Take it up with ICE (18+ / 0-)

    The common usage was never "Undocumented alien." This is a term people made up later.  "Undocumented alien" isn't even accurate in many cases as the people who are here illegally often have or had their entry documented.

    •  I call your claim... (14+ / 14-)

      ... bullshit.

      STFU!

      A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

      by justiceputnam on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:27:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The term "illegal immigrant" dates from (16+ / 0-)

        1892, in the US.

        The use of the word "alien" to describe a non-citizen dates back to 1798.

        The term "illegal alien" is used in many statutes in the US, as well.

        Just out of curiosity, when exactly did the bigoted right wing appropriate the term?

        •  Actually The Term "Illegal Alien" (10+ / 0-)

          Came into widespread use with the Immigration Act of 1924 and it at the time had nothing to do with 'brown people', but then you can't cure willful ignorance or as I like to call it, stupidity.

          Like I've now stated already, it's much more entertaining to watch this individual stomp his semantic foot than to try and keep up with the ignorant comments.

          I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

          by superscalar on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:52:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  When did we stop using the word (10+ / 0-)

          "colored" to describe African-Americans?

          What about "negro"?

          Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

          by mahakali overdrive on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:24:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good point (8+ / 0-)

            Always better to avoid language that deliberately inflames. "Alien" may be in the law, but so was "colored" for may years. "Illegal" is highly subjective - most immigration violations are violations of administrative, rather than criminal law, and using the term "illegal" stigmatizes unnecessarily. An undocumented or out of status "alien" or non-citizen is someone with a visa overstay. The term "illegal" should probably apply to someone who is in the United States after repeated deportations and has a ten year bar on re-entry, at which point the person may incur criminal liability for re-entry. The vast majority of "illegal" immigrants do not fit into this category, and it's simply more accurate to call them undocumented rather than "illegal".

            But this immigration debate polarizes people, even here. Lots of folks think that breaking the law - even an administrative law without criminal liability - is unacceptable. Others have been hurt by visas for non-citizens in the tech industry. They have some reason to feel some of this resentment, but most don't really understand how dysfunctional the immigration system is. If they knew that, many would be more sympathetic.

            “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

            by ivorybill on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:26:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  How does the term deliberately inflame? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Eyesbright

                   How does it do this?
              "Illegal" is simply an accurate term to describe their status. They lack the legal right, as proscribed by U.S. Immigration law, to remain in the country. "Illegal" doesn't necessarily mean criminal. For example, It's illegal to fail to pay all of the taxes you owe to the government by April 15, absent an extension, but you might not get a criminal penalty,, depending upon the amount and your record, you will more likely get a civil fine, having to pay the back taxes with a shiteload of interest.  You won't have a criminal record.  Apparently "illegal is the part of the term that most people take umbrage with.
                   What about "alien?" It sounds a little odd. As a Kid, though so. Sounded like something out of Star Trek. But it's a really just a government clinical term and it is accurate to describe one who is not a citizen. "Immigrant" is arguably better, or at least softer sounding. I really don't have a problem with that.
              "Undocumented" for many is not accurate, as in many cases, they had their entry documented.
              "Out of status" is inaccurate for many, as you have to have had a status in the first place to be out of it. If the Coke Machine is broken is it "Out of service. If it's in the factory being built and has never been put in service.
                  yes, the debate polarizes people here. Look at this diary and the language that the diarist uses. Calling people "bigots" for using a term that people like Chuck Schumer, a very liberal, pro immigration reform Democrat uses, is certainly polarizing. So is telling people to STFU. So are people who repeat blatant falsehoods (I.E. it's not illegal to be in the country without authorization, you can't be prosecuted criminally for violating US immigration law etc.) and the people who rally about some obvious violations of the DK FAQs, just because the diarist is one of theirs. Of course this kind of behavior is going to polarize.

                 

          •  The two aren't remotely similar (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DianaR, Eyesbright

            For one, we've evolved quite a bit from the days when "Colored" was used. Two, "illegal alien" or "illegal immigrant" don't apply to any one race of people. A Swede or an Irishman is just  as "illegal" as a Mexican or Salvador who crossed the southern border illegally or an Indian on a H1-B who lost his job and can't find another one in a reasonable time. Also, the Obama administration is apparently comfortable with using this term. I doubt that  they are doing it to spite "Brown people" and pander to nativist bigots.

          •  What does that have to do with my comment? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dr Swig Mcjigger

            Which was, of course, in response to this claim in the diary:

            Before the bigoted right wing appropriated the term and its use became so widespread that even so called democrats use the term, the common usage was, "Undocumented Alien."
        •  This is kind of a bizarre diary. (4+ / 0-)

          I mean, there is something highly obnoxious about referring to even those immigrants who go through the official channels as "aliens."

          But it's what we're called... by the government. My tax forms -- for crying out loud -- distinguish between "non-resident alien" and "resident alien." This isn't really a matter for debate.

          Now, if we want to challenge the notion that this is a desirable label, I will be the first in line to change the nomenclature. I am, indeed, quite tired of being looked at as something cut from the same cloth as the chest-incubating creatures Sigourney Weaver has to polish off with a flame-thrower. There are plenty of other models for how to refer to foreign national non-citizens that use less abrasive language.

          But let's agree on what reality is: the word "alien" isn't just an epithet (though it is that, too). It is the point of departure for the federal government's categorization of foreign nationals on US soil.

          Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

          by Dale on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 05:13:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  good points (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eyesbright

            The government tends to use sterile, clinical terms to describe people and things. Remember POSSLQ? (People of the Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters). The Census Bureau came up with this gem to describe what most people would call "roommates." Governments often use awkward terms with no bigotry intended.

      •  Many states allow for driver licenses (8+ / 0-)

        to illegals - what whould you call that?

        No documetation?

        Before you start STFU'ing people you should get your facts straight.

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:06:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The documentation in question is a work permit, (5+ / 0-)

          in the form of a visa/green card.

          It's not illegal to be in the country without a work permit. It's also not illegal to have a driver's license and not have a work permit. It's illegal to work without documentation (A.K.A. a work visa) period.

          Not having a work visa doesn't make a human being an "illegal alien" any more than you're an "illegal American" because back when you were 11, your neighbor paid you to shovel snow.

          The act of crossing the border is illegal only if you cross it illegally -- most don't. They come to the US on a travel or school visa, and just stay here. Which is legal -- no laws broken.

          •  Visa is not a work permit. There are work permits (7+ / 0-)

            that have nothing to do with visas and green cards. Certain types of work are legal without a work visa. Overstaying the visa is breaking a law although it's only a misdemeanor.

            •  Technically, a Green Card is a visa (7+ / 0-)

              It allows multiple entry, with permission to work for normally, a ten year period.

              Other visas can allow employment too, but generally they are more restrictive.

              The Green Card is the only one considered to be "permanent", even though it isn't. So it carries the Lawful Permanent Resident tag too.

              I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
              but I fear we will remain Democrats.

              Who is twigg?

              by twigg on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:43:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  In all of this, I think mainly of kids (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                renzo capetti, justiceputnam, twigg

                brought here before they could make decisions, or of those who also don't know their own status with ICE (a lot around here since many immigrants go back and forth from Mexico to California each year, and sometimes there are no records or no one knows because a baby is born in a field or a truck; this actually was the case of the person I mentioned in this diary).

                Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                by mahakali overdrive on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:23:05 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Green cards used to be more permanent (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                twigg

                My green card had no expiration date when it was issued in the early 1960s. The laws were changed at some point since then, making it necessary to renew periodically. Every ten years?

                We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. -Pres. Obama, 1/21/13

                by SoCalSal on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 03:25:11 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  "Conditional" Green Cards (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Neon Mama, SoCalSal, justiceputnam

                  are issued for two years, which is extended to ten years when you apply to have the condition removed ... another large fee!

                  They are usually imposed when the application is based on a marriage that is less than two years old when the card is issued. The only condition is that you apply to have the condition removed within a tight window. There may be an interview.

                  Normally cards, which used to have no expiry and were permanent, are now issued for ten years.

                  Indications are that they will be renewed "almost" automatically, but again a large fee and no guarantees.

                  It's a bureaucratic nightmare, even if English is your first language and you are decently educated.

                  I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                  but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                  Who is twigg?

                  by twigg on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 05:58:11 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Large fees indeed. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    justiceputnam

                    Just looked it up -- $450 to renew a green card, or to replace a lost green card.

                    We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. -Pres. Obama, 1/21/13

                    by SoCalSal on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:01:15 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  PLUS Biometrics fees...to get your prints taken. (0+ / 0-)

                      Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. ALL ROYALTIES BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 1, DONATED TO THIS SITE, DAILYKOS!! @floydbluealdus1

                      by Floyd Blue on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:28:41 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  When my ex... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      SoCalSal

                      ... French Actress Wife had her purse and ID stolen from a secure building, getting her green card wasn't really that difficult.

                      Getting her mandated carte de identitie was a big chore; but we hung out at the Louvre when in Paris and travelled in the provinces looking for local armanac; ending up at one of the family chalets in Nice.

                      So, it wasn't so bad after all, now that I think about it.

                      A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

                      by justiceputnam on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 07:42:37 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Yup, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SoCalSal

                  Actually it was by regulation, not law.  In 1996, then-INS decided that all those old green cards which did not have an expiration date were now expired and everyone had to get new ones (there actually is a subset of green cards that did not expire, but the vast majority did).  Problem is, they never really told anyone and I still see people with these old expired green cards who have no idea.  

                  •  If they leave the country, they absolutely (0+ / 0-)

                    find out that fact upon re-entry.  They will then be required to obtain a new 10-year ARC.

                    Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. ALL ROYALTIES BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 1, DONATED TO THIS SITE, DAILYKOS!! @floydbluealdus1

                    by Floyd Blue on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:30:41 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  No, technically it is not (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dr Swig Mcjigger

                Becoming an immigrant is a two step process.  First, you need to get the immigration visa.  After you get that visa and enter the United States, you then need to apply for a green card.

                And no, it does not allow for work or entry for a ten year period.  The green card itself is only good for ten years, but the status does not expire with the green card.  The green card is simply evidence of the status, but does not determine the status.  

              •  Green cards are permanent in reality (0+ / 0-)

                If the holder wants them to be. They are easily renewed. They can even be renewed after they have expired.

                •  Exactly! (as long as you don't commit (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dr Swig Mcjigger

                  certain crimes).

                  But holding an expired green card for many years does not change one's status at all.  It will need to be renewed when an employer demands it, or international travel demands it.

                  Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. ALL ROYALTIES BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 1, DONATED TO THIS SITE, DAILYKOS!! @floydbluealdus1

                  by Floyd Blue on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:32:08 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Not necessarily (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DianaR

            The documentation can be a tourist visa, a student visa or family based visa.

            The act of crossing the border is illegal only if you cross it illegally -- most don't. They come to the US on a travel or school visa, and just stay here. Which is legal -- no laws broken.
            Tautology aside, this is not exactly correct. It is legal to come here on student or travel visa, but it is not legal to stay beyond that limit, so in fact, laws are broken.
      •  It's hidden -- is the pile-on necessary? (22+ / 0-)

        It takes two donuts to hide a comment. After that, every donut is an attempt to reduce someone's mojo or have them banned. Generally speaking.

        Y'all bear that in mind.

        There are five donuts on this right now.

        Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

        by mahakali overdrive on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:41:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Got Eleven HR's so far... (17+ / 0-)

          ... hopefully Kos will not ban me; I have a poem lined up for Black Kos on tuesday.

          Won't be able to if I'm banned.

          So be it, I guess.

          Funny though. Stand up for the rights of the downtrodden on a liberal blog I have been a part of for over 6 years and folks want to ban me for my "stridency."

          Funny.

          A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

          by justiceputnam on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 08:01:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Can I ask a question? (13+ / 0-)

            I doubt I'd heard the term "undocumented immigrant" b/4 coming to Daily kos. I had heard the other word plenty of times. Yes, it was in my vocabulary because it was what I'd learned.

            After I came to Daily Kos, I saw some people felt the word was unacceptable. So I quit using it. Why? They  were friends and allies. Why would I want to offend??

            I look through the threads and I see people trying to prove that its okay because it was used here and there. Why isn't it enough that it may be hurtful to a group of people who are friends and allies?

            As a member of Courtesy Kos, I am dedicated to civility and respect for all kossacks, regardless of their opinions, affiliations, or cliques.

            by joedemocrat on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 08:20:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't know why "undocumented immigrant" (8+ / 0-)

              is an issue.

              "undocumented alien" is a horrible term, but it is fairly accurate ... even though many are actually "documented"

              "Out of status alien" would be the most accurate for most, but it's a mouthful.

              "Illegal alien" is horrible. It is inaccurate .. well plain wrong, and used to stigmatize.

              I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
              but I fear we will remain Democrats.

              Who is twigg?

              by twigg on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:15:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Out of status isn't a good term for lots (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DianaR

                out of status implies that you had a proper status to begin with. It would be accurate for a legal entrant who overstayed, for example, but not for someone who hid in the back of a truck. Undocumented would be inaccurate for many, too. Their entry into the country was in fact documented, but they overstayed their legal right to remain.

                Illegal alien may sound harsh but it is not inaccurate. The person's presence in the country is not legal and since they are not citizens, they are, under US law aliens. How is that inaccurate?

            •  Language politics and identity (7+ / 0-)

              general acknowledges the preferred identity of a people. There should be no reason anyone choose to use such a term when it has been publicly and widely stated as unacceptable.

              In the same way we don't use terms that are not preferred by gay people, transfolk, people with different physical abilities, people with neuro-differences, women, Democrats, Jewish people, Muslim people, and people of different minorities, for a few examples, in that same way, we should use the preferred term for "undocumented immigrants." That is the preferred term. I am certain of this from my activism around this issue. I could sit here and cite thousands of references on this ranging from blogs to legal cases to published medias to protests.

              I think some people here on this site are not willing to give this group of human beings the same equal regard as they are the groups I mention above. And that, to me, is sad and inexcusable. However, it is true: there is a particular disregard for undocumented immigrants that attempts to justify something that no one will attempt to justify for other groups. That is just plainly dehumanizing and also, very selectively non-enforced toward this one group of human beings.

              I can pull up citations about this preference from Latinos if people do not believe me (I see some stories here claiming the opposite to be true -- but for that, I think it's much like during the African Civil Rights era, perhaps, when the nomenclature took a while to catch on?) -- but I really wish people would realize that this has been a real source of pain for a group of people for a very long time and that this group of people, by and large, has in fact asked to not be called what some call them anymore.

              The term is "undocumented immigrant." "Undocumented person" is even better. "People without green cards" is fine. According to these people.

              Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

              by mahakali overdrive on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:11:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Hey Justice (4+ / 0-)

            Thanks for the diary.  I doubt you will be banned and I don't think you should be banned.  

            Probably better not to use "STFU" as it tends to be misinterpreted.

            As far as the substance of your diary, I agree.

            “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

            by ivorybill on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:34:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  That's just silly. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dr Swig Mcjigger, justiceputnam

            It takes more than a single pile on 'stfu' comment to get a person banned, especially one with history and mojo.

            There's some account on here I looked at the other day that had over 100 HR's in his first dozen comments on site, spanning multiple diaries, and still hadn't been banned.

            Anybody can get hit with a pile-on, and a single pile-on generic comment like that isn't going to draw a ban.

        •  Now it's not hidden...community standards (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mark Mywurtz, Dr Swig Mcjigger

          be damned eh? I hate this double-standard.

          I see what you did there.

          by GoGoGoEverton on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 04:05:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree with the hide rates (16+ / 0-)

        Justice is entitled to his opinion on this. I think you all are too quick to fling the donuts.

        Discuss why he's wrong - if he is wrong. And a pile on is definitely not necessary.

        In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

        by vcmvo2 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 08:18:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  STFU is an opinion youre entitled to?nt (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Flying Goat, Dr Swig Mcjigger

          I see what you did there.

          by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 08:46:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The pile on wasn't necessary, imo (6+ / 0-)

            I didn't HR, but nor did I criticize those who did.

            But Justice is a good community member, and he didn't deserve that.

            Again ... imho

            I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
            but I fear we will remain Democrats.

            Who is twigg?

            by twigg on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:17:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's a pile-on -- after two, the donuts say, "Hey, (9+ / 0-)

              you... I'd like to see your mojo knocked."

              I hope everyone still throwing donuts realizes that Justiceputnam is an esteemed editor of the Black Kos, and that this diary has the backing of the several groups which republished it, all of which concern civil rights in some form or another.

              The comment? It echoes the diary. In the diary it presents a hypothetical: "If you feel X, then I will respond with Y."

              Here someone responded with "X." Justiceputnam responded with Y. As per his own diary.

              You'd have to be a very short-sighted individual to not see that many of these donuts are not at the comment, but are a "fuck you" to calling people "undocumented immigrants," and thus a fuck you, in truth, to undocumented immigrants.

              Ug-ly.

              Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

              by mahakali overdrive on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:20:54 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Some things are worth getting angry about (7+ / 0-)

                This, I believe, is one of them.

                Yet when you get angry, responses in kind will flow freely ... It's the nature of the beast.

                I find it most helpful to try to see through the language to try to understand the message. It keeps me sane, but not everyone does that so we get comment threads that get messy.

                I don't even mind that too much, but I do wish folk would research who they are HR'ing before they pile-on ... It might stay a few hands.

                Some people have earned the right to be admonished without the sanctimony that can accompany it.

                I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                Who is twigg?

                by twigg on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:28:31 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, I almost never get truly angry (7+ / 0-)

                  in my life. I am not an angry person at all. So when I come online, I don't normally get very angry either. This is more like righteous indignation and a sense that what is happening is ethically wrong.

                  And I will act in solidarity with undocumented immigrants on this, for whom justiceputnam is attempting to speak for. I'm sure many undocumented person's feel like saying far, far more than what he said, so if anything, he's been gracious.

                  I felt like my first explanation would work. Apparently, it did not. That is ugly. I cannot abide that. I cannot sit here quietly and let that happen. It's morally wrong for me to do that.

                  Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                  by mahakali overdrive on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:36:20 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It might be worth remembering (6+ / 0-)

                    that your first explanation did actually work :)

                    It worked for all those readers who chose not to become embroiled in the thread. They read it, and they read the counterpoints and reached a conclusion :)

                    I know, I know ... I sometimes forget that too, but not often.

                    You almost never persuade those who are arguing with you, but you do influence many others. At best, debate opponents reach a grudging respect :)

                    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                    Who is twigg?

                    by twigg on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:43:05 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Good reminder, Twigg (13+ / 0-)

                      I do hope my first explanation got more people thinking.

                      But honestly, I am sad to see more join. When I wake up tomorrow, will there be more? Another dropped a donut the moment I uprated... like it's a game.

                      It's not a game. Deportation facilities are places where children are taken from their families and kept at times for months. The most notorious was Children's Hutto Prison (now, I believe, shut down).

                      THESE are the women and children people demand the "right" to hatefully slur with these terrible words. Tell me you don't tear up reading this, because I do every time: http://www.aclu.org/...

                      http://www.hrw.org/...

                      The frequency with which sexual assault, abuse, and harassment occur in detention is largely unknown. The Bureau of Justice Statistics collects some data on the problem that includes incidents in facilities run by or exclusively for ICE. But it does not tabulate the numbers of assaults on immigration detainees held in state and county jails where ICE rents a portion of the bed space.

                      WHAT WOULD YOU CALL THIS CHILD?

                      Children, too, have apparently been subject to alleged abuse in Texas immigration detention facilities, although their care is overseen by the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), rather than ICE. Nine Central American children, one of whom was identified as 16 years old, reported sexual and physical abuse while in the custody of Texas Sheltered Care, a facility in Nixon, Texas, contracted by DHHS. According to claims submitted in a lawsuit, the children were fondled, groped, and forced to perform oral sex on one guard, and some were beaten by other guards. Although one guard was eventually prosecuted and convicted of sex abuse, the suit claims that the children’s allegations were initially met with retaliation and cover-up attempts by facility officials. Children who complained were reportedly transferred punitively to other facilities, denied food, made to sleep on the ground, and deprived of access to medical care.
                      The incidents we know about could easily be the tip of the iceberg because the people who may have been victims of abuse are, more often than not, deported… We urgently need ICE to improve the system for taking reports of abuse from detainees and to publish information that will clarify the scope of the problem.

                      Another article on this group of people who some here demand to call "aliens" or "illegal": http://www.pbs.org/...

                      Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                      by mahakali overdrive on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 11:06:07 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Keep workin' it, Mahakali (5+ / 0-)

                        The immigration issue can become almost as contentious as the RKBA thing. I think a lot of it comes from not having enough exposure to undocumented immigrants or asylum seekers, or really experiencing how completely broken the immigration system really is.  Most people of good faith will come around on this.  I kinda wish Justice had not used STFU because this is going to take persuasion and building allies, but I really don't think he meant it quite as rudely as some people took it.

                        Immigration reform is coming. It's a little like marriage equality - it's a matter of how long, and how many people get hurt in the meantime (or how many people end up excluded).  We need to shift the focus of the discussion from whether "illegals" should have a pathway to citizenship, to determining best public policy, which may mean not granting a pathway to citizenship to all undocumented people but the ones who have established themselves here. The whole process has to be designed to protect those who flee violence as well. If we can redirect the conversations in those directions, our party at least will start building consensus.  

                        A good place to start is with language though, and people need to hear a less confrontational message on why "undocumented" or "out of status" is preferable to "illegal".  Your comments do that.

                        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

                        by ivorybill on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:42:20 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  A rhetorical... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          mahakali overdrive

                          ... flourish comes in many guises.

                          Granted, the STFU was meant to enflame; enflame those who would insist on furthering the stigmatization.

                          But those who know me; and I admit, there are many here who never listen to Netroots Radio, or my Sunday and Monday world music shows or go to Black Kos; those who know me know that sarcasm is a major arrow in my quiver.

                          And I am always reminded that sarcasm does not translate in text, very well.

                          To me, STFU has as much impact as lol.

                          Others take it far too seriously.

                          But I am adamantly against bigotry; and admittedly, go off.

                          I am way beyond trying to convince someone to "see it my way," I am not trying to persuade.

                          I am simply making a point.

                          I am truly a lover. But I will fight for the downtrodden, the marginalized; in that endeavor, I do get strident.

                          It is who I am. But we are a community. I am well aware of that; and this community is more important than any bullshit I might throw. Ultimately, all of this is to make us think and become an even stronger community.

                          That does get lost in my "drama."

                          For that, I am dutifully chagrined.

                          A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

                          by justiceputnam on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 07:57:20 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                •  It's unclear how HRs and uprates affect each (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dr Swig Mcjigger

                  other.  Yes, there are people who have this important fact of life memorized.  For those who don't, it's also non-trivial to tell if the comment is actually hidden.  As a result, you get this "pile-on" effect.

                  I'd argue this is largely a problem with DK's interface.

                •  So the rules only apply (0+ / 0-)

                  when you want them to ? NO one should be HR proof if they don't follow the rules.

            •  Being a good community member (0+ / 0-)

              doesn't entitle  one to break rules, including the one of "Don't be a dick."

          •  I'll grant you justiceputnam ought not to... (9+ / 0-)

            have used the term "STFU."
            Kinda rude.

            But I find the casual use of the phrase "illegals" upthread far, far more upsetting.
            ymmv...

            •  Amen... (7+ / 0-)

              We need a civil conversation on this, because we need to build allies.  But hopefully, those who prefer the term "illegal" will at least listen to the argument for comprehensive immigration reform, and will attempt to understand the complexity of the issue, and why labeling someone as "illegal" is factually inaccurate much of the time, and rude all of the time.  We don't want to go down the RKBA path with folks screaming at each other - we want consensus and a way forward.  

              “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

              by ivorybill on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:45:43 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  "Civil" conversation being the key. (3+ / 0-)

                I enjoy and thrive on being educated and enlightened about an issue... this being one of them.  But being called a so-called democrat bigot and told to STFU or else doesn't really engage me as much as enrage me -- and now everything this poster writes carries that prejudice.

                Not exactly Dale Carnegie material.

                Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank.
                Give a man a bank and he can rob the world.

                by here4tehbeer on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 05:13:15 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Dale... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mahakali overdrive

                  .... fuckin' Carnagie?

                  I am not trying to influence and persuade.

                  I am making a point.

                  If my use of STFU enrages because of one's insistence on using bigoted language, then so be it.

                  Sometimes it takes a STFU to get people to listen.

                  Well... folks have taken notice.

                  Good job in the circles I run with.

                  A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

                  by justiceputnam on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 08:02:48 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  This diary isn't the way (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mark Mywurtz

                To   a civil conversation. Nor is uprating blatant violations of the community standards on the ground that someone is apparently respected (although, I have to say, not by a lot of us) and has a "history." Many longtime users have been banned, after all.

                We also aren't going to get to the civil conversation by claiming that people aren't listening to arguments for immigration reform simply because they use different terminology. I support immigration reform, which includes the dreaded "A" word and a path to citizenship. I support allowing people who were children when their parent brought them here illegally to remain in the country. Calling me a "bigot" and to "STFU" or supporting such behavior is no way to start a civil discourse.

                And no it is not inaccurate to label someone's presence here as Illegal, if it is not authorized by law and nor is it rude to point that out.

            •  There's no rule on here (0+ / 0-)

              against not upsetting someone, though.

        •  I Am Uprating For Two Reasons (7+ / 0-)

          First, I agree that there is no need to pile on anyone expressing an opinion generally. HRs are not intended to be used to express disagreement, as anyone who knows the rules here knows. Nothing about what Justice wrote violates the rules of the site or is so beyond the pale as to indicate that nobody should see it.  Moreover, and speaking for myself only, anyone who can't read the acronym "STFU" on the internet without freaking out really shouldn't be hanging out on a political site. Seriously. We're not children needing to be protected from each other. If your skin isn't thick enough (and I say that as someone who very rarely, if ever, uses the acronym) to be able to plow through stuff like that, and focus on the substance, perhaps a website focusing on more sanguine matters like basketweaving would be a better fit.

          The second reason is that I'm a believer in making a case if you disagree, not just piling on.  Justice is incorrect IMO, but he's only partially incorrect. As a lawyer, I am concerned with the law. As an activist, I'm concerned with the human. In this case, the language used in one sphere is inconsistent with that desired in the other. This is the basis, IMO, for the conflicts that spawn everytime someone uses the term "illegal alien."

          Alien means "any person not a citizen or a national of the United States." "Immigrant" is defined as every alien except for those specially-enumerated classes of aliens who are not here permanently, whether because of the conditional or temporary nature of the reasons for their presence in the US or their actual intent to be here only temporarily or both.  The word "undocumented" is, to my knowledge, not used at all in immigration law - it is strictly a political term and it is a term created by the Left; there's just no denying that, however salutary the reasons.  

          "Illegal" means "contrary to the law" or "not authorized by law." (Black's Law Dictionary). There's not rational way to argue differently, not if you're talking about the law. Thus, when a person enters without valid status under a visa of some type, or remains without valid status after it's expiration, it is illegal. It may not be a violation of the criminal law (entry may be, entering after overstaying and triggering a ban or after being removed out definitely is, mere presence without those things is not). But illegal it remains. Many people argue, particularly when discussing immigration, that because something is not criminal it is not illegal. But no definition of the word illegal has ever been so limited. Not in this context or any other.

          However, I think that Justice is trying to discuss this not as as a legal matter, but as a human matter.  And Justice's point is well taken, at that level: given the "fearful otherness" that the culture has imbued the word "alien" with generally, use of the term "illegal alien" evokes a xenophobic reaction and makes it easy to forget that we're dealing with people, with human beings. Hopefully the law will catch up with his feelings about the term "alien" immigant" being an inhumane term, because his point is well taken.

          I have a harder time on the objection to the word illegal, though, for the reason I've identified above. Like it or not, it is illegal. Thus, my personal term is "illegal immigrant" because I believe it is that term that most accurately reflects the status in which millions find themselves. I also use "undocumented immigrant" -- but ONLY for political reasons. As a matter of law, the word "undocumented" is underinclusive. A person can enter the US with valid documentation as a temporary visitor and subsequently decide to stay with or without permission; that person is not undocumented regardless of that change of intent. It therefore leaves out millions who were not EWI (entry without status) in addressing necessary fixes to the immigration law, a body of law which judges have routinely railed about for its internal inconsistencies and general opaqueness and activists have railed against for its racism, classism and ineffectiveness at finding a good balance between the desire to encourage human migration and the legitimate desire to ensure that in a world where most borders are NOT open, a country's inarguable right to control the flow of migration into its borders.

          This is a long response but I found it necessary given that this business of language when it comes to illegal immigration is IMO distracting. The larger far more important issue is not language, but law.

          •  Thank you for this response (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            justiceputnam

            It covers everything so well. One request, could you diary this?

            In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

            by vcmvo2 on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:49:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you... (0+ / 0-)

            ... Shanikka!

            A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

            by justiceputnam on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 08:06:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I am not coming at this from a point... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mahakali overdrive, shanikka

            ... of Law.

            But from the sentiment that caused Woody Guthrie to pen, "Deportee."

            I'm a little bit St Francis and whole lotta asshole.

            it is my liability. But I love humanity too much to just go along to get along.

            I am in agreement, wholeheartedly.

            But my asshole-ness does get in the way.

            I should have just been a dancer.

            But the pull of human rights has always been too strong.

            Thank you again, Shanikka.

            A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

            by justiceputnam on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 08:17:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Uprated, not because it falls within (7+ / 0-)

        the province of site rules. I don't think it does.

        Uprated in solidarity, I suppose as an act of civil disobedience. If I get a warning, fine. I accept that completely.

        But I read your update, and it moved me to uprate this post for this reason. First time I ever have done that here on this site out of a refusal to yield to bigotry and those who would punish you for refusing to understand that they are punishing you for trying to stand up for undocumented immigrants, which is a very virtuous thing.

        I am no coward. If I am NR'd or warned or whatever, so be it, but I believe that while I don't support the post, in this case, those HR'ing it in a pile-on are doing so out of hatred for undocumented persons (most of them) since I'd already warned that it would harm justiceputnam's mojo.

        I'm not even 100% clear IF the comment is HRable. It's on the edge, actually. It could be argued a few ways. It's not a comment one would be banned over, for example.

        Solidarity and I refuse to sit here and let an Editor of the Black Kos be dumped on this way without doing something. Fine. This is all I have.

        Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

        by mahakali overdrive on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:31:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Updated. Yes was rude and the hrs are (5+ / 0-)

        legitimate. But I just find the discussion here more valuable as visible than the bit of rudeness.

      •  Spare me the pearl clutchage (4+ / 0-)
      •  Such a stellar, intelligent rebuttal (0+ / 0-)

        Immigration reform is going to sail through Congress with such heavy intellectual backing.

    •  First you (12+ / 0-)

      argue that it is ok for the police to burn a man to death and now here you are fighting for the right to use the term "illegal" to describe people who are desperately seeking a better life.
      Hmmm...

      Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

      by JoanMar on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:35:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That means it's (23+ / 0-)

      it OK, because it's language the government uses? I suppose you like to call dead children "collateral damage" too. A lot of official lingo is meant to dehumanize.

      •  And the repetition, here and elsewhere (5+ / 0-)

        desensitizes, as well as dehumanizes.
        It is sad and frightening to think that terms that should be abhorrent, should offend, should raise alarms and be denounced have instead become acceptable.
        Because of repetition.
        Because not enough of us have the guts to say 'stop' to those who use the demeaning words that are meant to divide, humiliate, and lessen the worth of other human beings.
        And 'we're' the fuckin' 'good guys'.


        Information is power. But; like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. Aaron Swartz ~1986-2013~

        by Lisa Lockwood on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 08:53:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  and it sounds so much... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Swig Mcjigger

      ...like the dog ate my homework excuse.  Many people here contrary to the statutes know it and knew it when they entered.

      We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

      by delver rootnose on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:58:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know one such person (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SoCalSal, mahakali overdrive

        She knew very well that she was breaking the law by entering the United States on a fake passport.

        She was captured by a Sierra Leone militia, gang raped, beaten, and then forced to pull the trigger and kill one of her neighbors by laughing teenage soldiers who had the guns, and the power.  Some nuns got her a fake passport.

        Under the circumstances, I'm willing to give her a pass.

        Now, I grant that there are a wide spectrum of persons who either enter and overstay their visas, or enter illegally. Some are coming for purely economic reasons. But I've learned long ago that not all "illegals" are the same, but that all "illegals" are human beings. It is better to get off the whole "dog ate my homework" discussion, and get back on track with an immigration reform that gives a way forward to those who have already built a life here (including their children) and those who flee disasters and conflict. If we focus on where to draw the line on who stays and who doesn't, we may be able to do this in a less contentious manner.

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:52:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's generally easy for a person from a country (0+ / 0-)

          like Sierra Leone, with its history of horrific violence, if they are legit, to gain asylum status in this country.  Then they can try to keep that foothold here after the asylum status ends.

          The problem is it costs.

          Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. ALL ROYALTIES BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 1, DONATED TO THIS SITE, DAILYKOS!! @floydbluealdus1

          by Floyd Blue on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:37:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Check the stats (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mahakali overdrive

            It's not necessarily easy. Approval rates in NYC are about 40%; approval rates in immigration court in Atlanta were 3%.  You have twice the chance of winning if you have legal representation; many legitimate cases filed affirmatively and without legal representation are denied. The system is more arbitrary than you realize.  

            In the example I describe, which was a real case, the woman was finally granted after several years and a 7th circuit court decision.  It was absolutely not easy. Had she not had pro bono attorneys willing to take the case to the federal courts, she would not have won

            “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

            by ivorybill on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:00:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  well as someone who has been... (0+ / 0-)

          ..unemployed for quite a while I will give humanitarian exemptions but to use these rarities as a cover for all the misuses of the H1b, and other visas, and other 'economic' impacts is rather disengenous.

          I am not going to get behind any immigration changes that expand the use of H1b or student visas to reduce salaries of opportunities in the proffesional fields or any program that does not allow an immigrant the right to change employers or join a union.  end the idea of corporate sponsorship finally.

          We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

          by delver rootnose on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:35:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  low bandwidth, no stars, but would rec diary. (8+ / 0-)

    did rec JP's tip jar.

    There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.--@Hugh * Addington's Perpwalk: TRAILHEAD of Accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.

    by greenbird on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:28:09 PM PST

  •  Oh brother (34+ / 0-)

    Are they legally here? No. So in truth they are illegal aliens. Now we may wish to call the undocumented to take the stigma off their illegal status off of them, but calling them illegal is not bigoted.

    Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?

    by jsfox on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:31:00 PM PST

  •  I only read the little preview window and came (20+ / 0-)

    to comment on the tone.

    Too strident.  People will use language imperfectly, sometimes while expressing a point of view that is more important than the semantics.

    Using this accusatory tone is just wrong. You must be able to write a slightly longer diary with more nuance that will convince people more completely than, "Stop it or STFU."

    It's embarrassing for our undocumented guests who deserve a more articulate advocate.

    "Jersey_Boy" was taken.

    by New Jersey Boy on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:32:07 PM PST

  •  are they or are they not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright

    residing legally or illegally?

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:41:16 PM PST

  •  "The Illegal Trap" (22+ / 0-)
    This is where “illegal” causes the most trouble, and where I find myself empathizing with Mr. Vargas. What bothers both of us is the way “illegal” in “illegal immigrant” defines an entire person, not merely  an unlawful act. It taints everything that person does, and suggests an irreparable offense.   How do you legalize an illegal person?

    This is  what many people can’t get their heads around, and why the simple act of legalization through punishment and reparation — paying a fine and back taxes, getting to the back of the citizenship line — is unthinkable to them.

    And if immigrants are “illegal,” then it follows that they don’t deserve legal protections. You can do anything you want to them — abuse them, insult and berate them, arrest and detain them, split up their families — because their “illegality” severs them from any rights. That’s the argument used in Arizona and Alabama, and it has the advantage of being easy to understand.

    Source

    I live near the border. I use the term "undocumented."
    Illegal is a behavior, not a person.

    “Corruption isn’t just people profiting from betraying the public interest. It’s also people being punished for upholding the public interest.”  ― MS

    by cosmic debris on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:41:37 PM PST

  •  I agree, although (18+ / 0-)

    it's actually not difficult to find references to the term on the ICE website. Like here or here. That said, if there is any place where it ought to be dropped it should be right here on Daily Kos.

    It's hard to argue the point that it's a slur popularized by conservatives and anti-immigrant groups, and we have no business adopting their dehumanizing language. Honestly, when this is the language coming from the right, what's it doing here?

    “Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you’ll print tomorrow morning: 'More guns,' you’ll claim, 'are the NRA’s answer to everything!'" -- Wayne LaPierre

    by tytalus on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:43:18 PM PST

  •  In the 6 yrs I've been (9+ / 0-)

    ... an "official" member of dKos, I have only gotten a few HR's, but I love how I got one in this diary for standing up for Due Process and Equal Protection, on a liberal site, nonetheless.

    I am honored!

    A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

    by justiceputnam on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:49:21 PM PST

  •  James Baldwin said... (10+ / 0-)

    "... (w)e are not here to ask for our rights, we are here to TAKE it!"

    He was called strident.

    I am in excellent company.

    A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

    by justiceputnam on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:50:58 PM PST

  •  Let's just be sure that when... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton, Miss Blue

    you object to a phrase that you FIRST try to educate the poster or diarist politely, and if no change is effected, THEN you can say:

    "It is bigoted to call a human, 'Illegal.' / I am serious about this. / Stop it, or STFU!"

    I'd say at least first, give a sucker an even break.

    I could also say, First time, shame on me. Second time shame on you.

    Otherwise, on the first stroke, a person is no better.

    See? Thanks! :)

    Ugh. --UB.

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of East Somalia!"

    by unclebucky on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:57:29 PM PST

  •  I agree with the sentiment... (8+ / 0-)

    but not with the manner in which it is conveyed. Rather does a disservice to the very cause the diarist tries to champion.

  •  I Think the Term Is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton, doc2, HarpboyAK

    An accurate description.

    It's also the legal term used in U.S. statutes.

    This being said, coming into the U.S. to work without authorization is not a punishable offense in any way -- except that you might be deported and denied re-entry. You can't be put in jail for it.

    But these folks don't have authorization to work here under current law.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:07:33 PM PST

  •  While I understand that "Illegal" is definitely (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright

    degrading, I wonder if, by calling it "bigoted", you are seeing it as it is applied primarily to Hispanics? That the term is used as a stand-in for saying "Mexicans" or "Latinos"? I'm just curious, because I never saw it as a racial comment. More of a classist one.

    Heck, anyone who overstays their visa is "in the country illegally". Ukrainians, Germans, Filipinos, Irish, Koreans...

    Overall, you're right; it is a rude term, I just wonder if "bigoted" is what really works.

  •  I think it's ok in adjective form. (0+ / 0-)

    Not ok as a noun or object: 'He is an illegal.'

    I see what you did there.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:15:05 PM PST

  •  150% agreed and this has been fought for (9+ / 0-)

    for as long as I can remember, and with good reason. I forbid this term in my classes.

    I defer to the authority of the Latino Journalists who have written on this asking for the claim to not be used publicly.

    It is as offensive as calling a human a "savage" or "it" or something.

    Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

    by mahakali overdrive on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:31:10 PM PST

    •  Isn't that 100% subjective though? (0+ / 0-)

      You find the term super-offensive, but that doesn't mean that everyone feels that way (whether they are in that group or not). Aren't you really saying "My own personal opinion is that the term is as offensive as savage"?

      •  No, I'm speaking from historical and mass (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        indubitably, a2nite, justiceputnam

        precedent, very specifically.

        I really, really, really doubt anyone wants to hear the novel I could write about that. It goes back almost fifty years and is complete with footnotes and scintillating detail thanks to a college course I took on the history of undocumented populations with a special emphasis on Latinos in California (which then motivated me to work with this population of people for some years); I probably should just repost the final paper with footnotes or some such thing to sum up my argument. Alas, I don't have an electronic copy of that.

        It is not my interpretation whatsoever. It's a mass cultural and historical group interpretation of the term as bigoted.

        Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

        by mahakali overdrive on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:57:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sorry, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive

        this just reminds of when Republicans say something offensive against women, African Americans, LGBT, etc and then act like it's a subjective issue or that others are just blowing things out of proportion.  What's the difference between their defense and what you're saying?

  •  I think this is a very difficult subject matter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    justiceputnam

    I respect how you feel.   The term "illegal alien" goes back, as others have noted, to 1924, it isn't really just a conservative phrase.

    That having been said, I can completely understand how you would feel it can be used in a derogatory manner to basically label people.

    But I run into a problem with "Undocumented Immigrant" or "Undocumented Alien".

    I do so because if everyone latched onto these terms you begin to rhetorically neutralize the need for change.   Saying "illegal alien" calls attention to a policy that leaves people to be considered illegal, or facing legal and real consequences.

    Undocumented Immigrant doesn't go far enough in some ways to allow us to express the very real dangers that those individuals face.   Those problems range from being threatened to inability to seek legal assistance, fear to go to medical care, etc.

    I completely grasp what you are saying, and I understand that concern.  And, I'll make a better effort.   However, the term can be used as a slur and an attack by many, but to others, it is the only real way to highlight quickly the very real legal danger we put people in.

    I hope you can read through this and understand it.  :)  

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:38:47 PM PST

    •  What happens when a racial... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmservo433, worldlotus

      ... class is identified as possibly "illegal" is what happened to my brother in law back in the early 80's when, what we called the "segunda linea" was established in So Cal.

      My brother in law was pulled over on the 405 in his UPS truck and demanded he show his green card, (he is of hispanic descent). Since he was born here, he didn't have one.

      He was deported to Mexico. The UPS truck was left on the side of the freeway.

      My sister was absolutely out of it. We thought he was dead. It never occured to us to call Immigration. We called the cops, CHP, hospitals... all to no avail.

      He was finally able to call my sister after several days when Mexican authorities finally got around to him.

      And yes, my sister and brother in law sued and received a substantial settlement.

      The point is, "illegal" is applied to US citizens, then it is up to them to prove otherwise, way after the fact.

      Thus my "stridency" about these issues. It has gone on far too long.

      A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

      by justiceputnam on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 08:42:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I completely get your point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        justiceputnam

        And I can absolutely agree with you on the elements.   I think you have a very valid point.

        My only concern is a matter of rhetoric.   For someone like yourself, you're not going to forget the struggle and the difficulties.   But when quickly amended to "undocumented individual" or "undocumented worker" or whatever term we come up with, I worry a bit that it loses some of the urgency.

        You see the urgent nature of how people are treated.   No matter what terminology is used, people will still be treated in this way, as unfortunate as it is.

        I will really remember this conversation.   Like I said though, I think maybe something should be provided that can more adequately address the real risk and problems in our policies in a way that "undocumented individual" doesn't.   That terminology, I worry, sucks the urgency and the potential risk of an incident like the one that happened to your family member are exposed of.

        We're a country that likes to forget, when given the chance.  My only concern is that making it easy to forget won't work out well to force a change to the policy.

        Otherwise, I completely get the feeling.

        I hope this makes sense.

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 08:58:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  How about instead of calling them (0+ / 0-)

    illegal aliens we call them foxes. Everyone wants to be a fox. They would undoubtedly be pleased to be called foxes. Whatever the choice is, the point is that if you don't want them to be called illegal aliens you have to come up with something even more catchy, as a substitute.

  •  In today's America, (6+ / 0-)

    "illegal alien" has become a pejorative term.
    Doesn't matter how long it has been in use or who coined the term.
    It is used to belittle and marginalized and almost always used to describe those who are suspected of being from the developing world.
    There is no getting around that fact.

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:46:45 PM PST

    •  According To The Most Recent Estimates (3+ / 0-)

      * 62% of all illegal aliens are from Mexico
      * 82% of all illegal aliens are from a combination of Mexico, Central America, and South America.

      Imposing your semantic edicts upon the world is not going to change these facts, and generally when you tell somebody to shut the fuck up you are in a position to enforce your demand, otherwise you are as we used to say in the military "talkin' loud and sayin' nuthin'".

      I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

      by superscalar on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:51:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What does that have to do with anything? (5+ / 0-)

        I mean, you have to assume this to be true since we share a long border with Central America.   Were you expecting a giant rush of people from Tibet?

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:54:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We Also Have A Long Border With Canada (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eyesbright

          Yet 62% of all illegal immigrants are not from Canada.

          I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

          by superscalar on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:56:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ok, so let me see if I understand (5+ / 0-)

            This would be different if more Canadians bolted from Manitoba and just parked their behinds at a Minnesota Stars game and refused to leave.

            There are a few problems with this as well.

            Canada's national population is 34M
            Mexico's national population is 113M

            I'm not even sure why this debate over anything having to do with "they are all from central america" is helping you at all, because it tends to come off as more anti-hispanic then helping your argument in any real way.

            Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

            by Chris Reeves on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:59:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hey Now! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tmservo433, JoanMar

              Minnesota Wild.  Dallas Stars.  

              :-)

              Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

              by Mark Mywurtz on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:02:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Damnit that's what Strikes get you (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JoanMar, justiceputnam

                Let's just say the two played and called it good.   Why the heck am I thinking Minneapolis North Stars???

                Jeez, OK shows how much attention I pay to Hockey lately ;)

                Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                by Chris Reeves on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:04:48 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Your Statement Justifies Illegal Immigration (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Eyesbright

              From the south because "we share a long border with Central America" i.e. with the south. My point is, we have a long border with the north too.

              I'm not even sure why this debate over anything having to do with "they are all from central america"

              It's not a debate, the facts are what they are, there is no 'argument'.

              I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

              by superscalar on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:03:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Where does justify ever come into this? (3+ / 0-)

                Math is math.

                Longer transactional borders will equal more opportunities for immigration in comparison to oceanic nations.  That's a fact.  You through out a statistic saying most of our immigrants came from Mexico and Central America.   I observed that as a matter of math,  this would be more likely to happen then say, independent boat people from Cuba or the British Virgin Islands.

                The contrary point that it doesn't happen from Canada as much is also not a valid viewpoint, as you combined Mexico and Central America, which combined is more then 250M in population VS Canada's 34M.  

                Math isn't about justification, it's about statistical possibilities.

                Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                by Chris Reeves on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:14:25 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  So, let's talk about the European Undocumented. (4+ / 0-)

            or does that make you uncomfortable?

            "My case is alter'd, I must work for my living." Moll Cut-Purse, The Roaring Girl - 1612, England's First Actress

            by theRoaringGirl on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:02:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Why would they come here. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tmservo433, justiceputnam

            It's much better there in so many ways. If it wasn't for the sucky weather I would have moved there years ago.

      •  I don't really know what's your point. (5+ / 0-)

        Your numbers just bear out my point.
        The reason why some have become so fond of the term (that you so helpfully used) is precisely because "they" are from Mexico, the Caribbean, Africa.
        It has become a dehumanizing term. Those others, them, they, illegal, alien.
        I haven't looked up the stats but I do know that when the Canadian border was as porous as swiss cheese (and it may still be), nobody had a problem.

        Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

        by JoanMar on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:58:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Lordy, When Could It Not Have Been Pejorative? nt (5+ / 0-)

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:53:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ugh (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, Wednesday Bizzare, dhonig

    For pretty much my entire life the term for someone in this country who isn't her legally is illegal alien.  Sure, it's a negative term, but calling anyone who uses it a bigot is completely unproductive, and is pretty much a waste of breath.  

    Note that I say this as someone who married an illegal alien back in 92 and still live with him today.  He managed to get his green card finally so is illegal no more - but he had to go through the hard route because we're gay, H1B visa and over a decade of legal fees and uncertainty and a job he hated.

    Republican threats amount to destroying the present if we don't allow them to destroy the future too. -MinistryOfTruth, 1/1/2013

    by sleipner on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:46:46 PM PST

  •  What do you call someone who refers to immigrants (0+ / 0-)

    as "pollos"?

    Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:48:51 PM PST

  •  Thing is... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    justiceputnam

    a lot of people don't actually refer to them as "illegal aliens." Due to the way most people get lazy with language and shorten things, most usually refer to them as "illegals," which is precisely why the term "illegal alien" saw a huge uptick in use in the early 1980s.

    But, as always, heaven forbid you should offend the white middle class liberals. As usual, the oppressed must politely ask to be treated with respect rather than demand it. Rules of civilization and all...

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:58:42 PM PST

  •  Their status is an alien (7+ / 0-)

    as is my husband.

    The "illegal" describes the mode of the status.  Their alien status is illegal, as my husband 's status is legal.

  •  Well if you could get the US Govt and the NYT (3+ / 0-)

    to think of a different term that was technically correct and not offensive I'm sure they would be happy to oblige. When my wife takes the kids to school and forgets  her purse she's an undocumented immigrant but she most certainly is legal.

    You know there are other not so nice names for people who sneak into the US or come legally and overstay their visa. Illegal Alien is used because it was the value neutral legal term. The bad connotation has come from people not accepting the truth of someone breaking the law by being in the US.

    Maybe a little less high horse.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:06:53 PM PST

  •  I used to call stuff "ghetto" borrowing from some (9+ / 0-)

    of my co-workers who were African American.  I thought I was being funny and borrowing some "street cred." I have an old honda with a cassette player and I called the cassette adapter a "ghetto" iPod adapter.

    Had a discussion on-line where I came to understand how unflattering it is and based on both Racist and Classist traditions of oppression due to the association of the word.

    The dialogue was really educational and I was glad to have had it because I don't say it anymore, and I'm glad my children won't be hearing me say it.

    I wasn't called a bigot. No one told me to STFU. My mind was open and it changed for the better.

    I already agree about the term "illegals." I hope this diary will produce a similar awareness in spite of the unfortunate tone of the diarist, whose stridency seems immune to these constructive suggestions.

    "Jersey_Boy" was taken.

    by New Jersey Boy on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:09:36 PM PST

  •  I was thinking about writing an I/P diary... (4+ / 0-)

    ... but the negative responses here are so much more fun and closer to home.

    A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

    by justiceputnam on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:18:19 PM PST

  •  "Undocumented aliens" is bigoted also (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    justiceputnam, denise b

    We need to stop calling others, "Undocumented Aliens."

    Before the bigots appropriated the term, the common usage was, "Differently documented aliens." Because after all, they must have some documents, just not immigration documents.

    And don't get me started on the word "aliens". So judgmental.

  •  i find this thread to be somewhat unsettling (8+ / 0-)

    Unless you know how unchampioned foreigners can be mistreated here, and unless you have seen how badly they may be expoited at work, if you don't know people whose families have broken up by INS, you might think it pertinent to cite statutes and precedents, fine tune semantics and argue the fine print.
    I don't feel it that way. I know kids whose sole parent was sent to jail and then deported. Too young they were on their own. If it hadn't been for their Father's popularity with friends he made here, they wouldn't have had enough substitute support to draw on.
    I have had to look into the eyes of a Mother whose child was stolen and taken far away away to be raised by her crazy relations in another culture.
    Police, uniforms, court, unreadable papers, scare the hell out of uncertain visitors. All kinds of twists occur to keep people away from authorities that terrify them.
    I know it's not really practical in all situations, but I have come to think that everyone in the world has the right to be there. I don't much care where it is, nor where it was that they previously came from.
    I think some Americans are frightened that new visitors will somehow cost them money, or a job, or get something for nothing. It's a real ugly attitude. But didn't the Californian assessment conclude that the extra people made things much better economically for everyone?
    Yes, it exactly did say that. I guess you could be callous or aloof or misinformed about people you don't know, or for false reasons, fear. But, from my interactions in this life, from childhood on, i'd say, there's nothing to fret over. And all we need is love.

    clime parches on. terms: ocean rise, weather re-patterning, storm pathology, drout-famine, acceptance of nature.

    by renzo capetti on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:22:23 PM PST

    •  I don't know why you find it unsettling (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FLFarmer, Dr Swig Mcjigger

      I mean, just about everyone here agrees with you completely.  In fact, just about everyone here agrees with the point about language that the diarist made.  Problem is, he's been such a tool about it that he's alienated half the commenters.  

      Nobody here supports the ugliness you've seen; at least I sure hope not.  However, when you say:

      I guess you could be callous or aloof or misinformed about people you don't know, or for false reasons, fear. But, from my interactions in this life, from childhood on, i'd say, there's nothing to fret over. And all we need is love.

      that goes both ways.  What I mean is that jp is just as guilty of this running around calling DKers bigots and telling them to STFU then mocking them when he's called out.  One loudmouth on here is trying to make a group of people who agree with you out to be racists--he's just full of it.  

      Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

      by Mark Mywurtz on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:45:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  tensions may overwhelm us (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        justiceputnam

        our passion for justice could make us shrill
        a cause we live for might take us to an insistent rage

        some names we see over time earn respect
        we're gonna keep them in our hearts
        one difficult day or issue is not gonna turn us against each other
        a good kog can get a mulligan when they need it

        we will look to see if forbearance can reduce wounds
        if a friend is troubled, we will stay near
        and maybe love them back to safety with our better side intact

        i'd rather await the calm which could follow this storm
        than do anything which might produce more victims

        I'm gonna hold onto my faith in all of good will
        that they will maintain it
        or soon, pray, regain it.

        I don't like prejudice, and in my clearest focus, I know I'm equal, not better, nor worse. It has been taught here that a person may have a bad day. I've had plenty of kindness here when I most needed it. Why wouldn't it be right to return it just the same?

        clime parches on. terms: ocean rise, weather re-patterning, storm pathology, drout-famine, acceptance of nature.

        by renzo capetti on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 08:34:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My parents moved here from Mexico in 1950 (5+ / 0-)

    and maintained legal residency for many years. I was the only family member born in the US. As long as I could remember, if you wanted to show some type of bigotry towards Mexicans or Mexican Americans, you could call us "wetbacks."

    I think the trouble with the semantics we seem to be having here is directly related to the right's efforts to co-opt our language. When else in American history was the word "liberal" used as a pejorative.

    As a first generation American of Mexican heritage, I honestly never was insulted by the term "illegal alien" in normal conversation. I've always recognized that hate speech is a special category of language. However, when some Fox News southern fried motherfucker mouths those words, I want to punch his lights out. You know what else? Even if the same jackass was reading the phone book, it would get the same reaction out of me.

  •  I don't like undocumented though either (0+ / 0-)

    it makes it seem like a paperwork snafu, when in most cases they aren't supposed to be here.

    There should be a stigma attached to illegally crossing a border.

    There should be an even bigger stigma attached to giving a job to someone who illegally crossed the border or overstayed their visa, instead of being forced into that old fashioned tyranny of paying a fellow US citizen a decent wage....

  •  um yeah you're wrong and hypersenstize (0+ / 0-)
  •  So this thread has gotten me thinking. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    justiceputnam, worldlotus

    When I was a resident, the clinic where I was training served patients without insurance, mostly from Costa Rica, but occasionally, Mexicans, and many Columbians. I learned Spanish, provided my best medical care to them as I was learning the trade. Most were working without paying taxes as landscapers (the men) or cleaning houses (the women.)

    Now I have a private practice and still have many foreign patients. Actually, quite a lot. However, in the private practice setting, they have insurance. Usually, it's one spouse who is working in the pharma industry with the other, kind of "illegal." Most are from the U.K. and White. I can think of one who volunteers since he can't legally work.  They live on the one spouse's income.

    I never really thought of any of either group as "illegal" persons. Immigration status was a simple shorthand when asking about immunizations. "Did you go through INS? What year?" That kind of thing.

    My practice is in the same building as the clinic. There are two tiers of immigrants being seen in the same building and I have served both in such different settings.

    The illegal worker was the manual labor class and, of course that was also a different country of origin and skin pigment.

    Consequently, this "illegal" term is referring to the working class immigrant, who is working without legal working papers, employed by a small businessperson, who isn't paying taxes, and unfortunately is also of a different ethnicity.

    Could we maybe talk about that aspect of it?

    "Jersey_Boy" was taken.

    by New Jersey Boy on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 08:02:44 PM PST

  •  I refuse to live in a country (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, justiceputnam, worldlotus, jayden

    in which people are stopped and asked for their papers. My mother's father had the wrong ones and went to Auchwitz because of people who did things like that.

    It's not just a zip code, it's an attitude.

    by sboucher on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 08:15:34 PM PST

  •  From the AP style book (4+ / 0-)
    Terms like “undocumented” and “unauthorized” can make a person’s illegal presence in the country appear to be a matter of minor paperwork. Many illegal immigrants aren’t “undocumented” at all; they may have a birth certificate and passport from their home country, plus a U.S. driver’s license, Social Security card or school ID. What they lack is the fundamental right to be in the United States.

    Without that right, their presence is illegal. Some say the word is inaccurate, because depending on the situation, they may be violating only civil, not criminal law. But both are laws, and violating any law is an illegal act (we do not say “criminal immigrant”). Finally, there’s the concern that “illegal immigrant” offends a person’s dignity by suggesting his very existence is illegal. We don’t read the term this way. We refer routinely to illegal loggers, illegal miners, illegal vendors and so forth. Our language simply means that a person is logging, mining, selling, etc., in violation of the law — just as illegal immigrants have immigrated in violation of the law.

    The whole thing can be found HERE.

    This whole diary is a rant in search of a grievance.

    Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

    by dhonig on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 08:18:47 PM PST

  •  Don't see any Hide Rates. Maybe that's the "Hide." (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    justiceputnam

    Update mentioning Hide Rates is making me think justiceputnam is just kind of a quirky dude.

    "Jersey_Boy" was taken.

    by New Jersey Boy on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 08:34:31 PM PST

    •  Comments... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmservo433

      ... are hidden after 2 hr's... anymore and the diarist can be banned.

      Piling on is verbotten too, by the way.

      A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

      by justiceputnam on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 08:58:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  nah, you have TU (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        justiceputnam, COwoman

        You have a lot of mojo to dispense with before the algorithm catches up to you. A couple of hidden comments gets you banned? I wish. We could root out bad trolls way faster if that was the case. Yer fine.

        Putting on the spectacles of science in expectation of finding an answer to everything looked at signifies inner blindness. -- J(ames) Frank Dobie

        by cactusflinthead on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:22:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lost major mojo... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          COwoman

          ... from the flurry of hr's, but have retained TU status, maybe because I'm an editor on Black Kos.

          Thank you!

          A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

          by justiceputnam on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:31:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  it takes a lot more than one hidden comment (2+ / 0-)

            no worries.

            Putting on the spectacles of science in expectation of finding an answer to everything looked at signifies inner blindness. -- J(ames) Frank Dobie

            by cactusflinthead on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:32:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes... (0+ / 0-)

              ... but until tonight, in over 6 years I had a total of 2 HR's.

              Almost a dozen so far.

              Kicked the hornet's nest, I guess.

              A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

              by justiceputnam on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:36:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  it is all good. Your mojo is fine and dandy. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mahakali overdrive

                It isn't the number of HRs in one comment that makes the algorithm go bonkers and since it isn't even a hidden comment any more it is immaterial. It is the number of hidden comments that makes the difference. 11 hidden comments of 2 HR each counts a whole lot more than 2 comments with 11 HR each. Piling on does not work.

                Putting on the spectacles of science in expectation of finding an answer to everything looked at signifies inner blindness. -- J(ames) Frank Dobie

                by cactusflinthead on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:24:40 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Got a link for that 'piling on' assertion? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dr Swig Mcjigger

        I like to keep up to date on actual site rules, and hadn't seen one that said it was 'verboten', although it's usually bad form.

        •  having trouble finding it... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN

          ... but it is one of the "rules" kos laid down when Black Kos was inundated with the similar shat I put up with on my own diary.

          It may be just bad form and not a banning offense.

          As you know, I am prone to hyperbole, so "verbotten" might have been not quite correct.

          A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

          by justiceputnam on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:45:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Immigration is a legal process. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, Dr Swig Mcjigger

    We shouldn’t insult/slander legal, legitimate, law-abiding immigrants by using the word “immigrant” to describe those who circumvent the legal immigration process (i.e. enter the US illegally). Those who enter the country illegally are not immigrants. That's why the gov't uses the word "alien" (to differentiate between those who are in the US legally and those who are not).

  •  Regardless the terminology, the sentiment is... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oysterface

    generally the same across the board. We have sovereignty, you don't. It doesn't matter who was here before. They weren't civilized enough to deserve sovereignty, so we got rid of their sorry asses and the place is ours now. We get to make the rules here now. And we get to make them there, too. If we don't like your politics, we'll rearrange it. If we don't like your economy, we'll wreck it. And if we don't like the consequences, we'll just put up walls and terrorize the refugees.

    Or, to go with the theme of the diary: GTFO and let us get back to the hard work of exercising our civilized, benevolent sovereignty over wherever the hell it is you came from.

    "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

    by 2020adam on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:08:09 PM PST

  •  Count me among those who feel there's (6+ / 0-)

    more damage done by labeling friends and allies as bigots than is done by proper use of the English language according to the dictionary definition. There may be a fine point to be made in legalese at times, but we aren't filing a legal brief here. We communicate using the common meaning of words.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/...

    illegal alien

    noun
    1. a foreigner who has entered or resides in a country unlawfully or without the country's authorization.

    2. a foreigner who enters the U.S. without an entry or immigrant visa, especially a person who crosses the border by avoiding inspection or who overstays the period of time allowed as a visitor, tourist, or businessperson. Compare resident alien.

    Also called illegal immigrant.

    I'm not going to list all the qualifications to the terminology in causal conversation. For those who wish to use the legalese, here's a link for you:
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/...

    I just might be offended if I'm labeled as a bigot for using words as they are defined.

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:14:02 PM PST

  •  Charles Garcia wrote a good article (5+ / 0-)

    a couple years ago on CNN: Why 'illegal immigrant' is a slur.

    A couple of good points:

    When you label someone an "illegal alien" or "illegal immigrant" or just plain "illegal," you are effectively saying the individual, as opposed to the actions the person has taken, is unlawful. The terms imply the very existence of an unauthorized migrant in America is criminal.

    In this country, there is still a presumption of innocence that requires a jury to convict someone of a crime. If you don't pay your taxes, are you an illegal? What if you get a speeding ticket? A murder conviction? No. You're still not an illegal. Even alleged terrorists and child molesters aren't labeled illegals.

    He also mentions the original use of "illegal" --
    The term "illegal immigrant" was first used in 1939 as a slur by the British toward Jews who were fleeing the Nazis and entering Palestine without authorization. Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel aptly said that "no human being is illegal."

    “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

    by Dbug on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:16:06 PM PST

    •  Might be a good article, but it is factually wrong (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Swig Mcjigger, dhonig

      The phrase "illegal immigrant" dates to at least 1892.

      •  Also (0+ / 0-)

        That was in England, not the US. Words and phrases mean different things in different nations and cultures and times.  

      •  It might date back to 1892 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive

        but I don't think the term "illegal immigrant" was used much. Prior to the immigration laws passed in 1921 and 1924, pretty much anyone could immigrate to America. We wanted people to come here. There were several laws in the late 1800s aimed at preventing immigration from China (and other parts of Asia). There were plenty of other derogatory words for people of Chinese descent back then.

        The only others prevented from immigrating were "undesirables" which means (from the Immigration Act of 1917: “homosexuals”, “idiots”, “feeble-minded persons”, "criminals", “epileptics”, “insane persons”, alcoholics, “professional beggars”, all persons “mentally or physically defective”, polygamists, and anarchists. And if someone like that arrived at Ellis Island, the ship that brought them was required to return them back to the port they came from.

        “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

        by Dbug on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 08:13:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's possible his grammar was faulty. (0+ / 0-)
          He also mentions the original use of "illegal" --
          The term "illegal immigrant" was first used in 1939 as a slur by the British toward Jews who were fleeing the Nazis and entering Palestine without authorization.
          He may have meant:
          The term "illegal immigrant" was first used as a slur in 1939 by the British toward Jews who were fleeing the Nazis and entering Palestine without authorization.
          But if that's what he meant, that's what he should have written.
          •  Interesting point (0+ / 0-)

            I honestly hadn't thought of that. First used (ever) vs. first used (as a slur).

            But it is used as a slur nowadays. And I like the point contrasting the word "illegal" applied to a person as against "illegal" applied to an action by that person. For example, if you get caught speeding, I wouldn't call you an "illegal driver," even though you got caught driving illegally.

            “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

            by Dbug on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 09:55:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Nice try (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Swig Mcjigger, dhonig

      except he's wrong - when you label someone an illegal alien you are NOT saying the individual is illegal, you are saying he is in the country illegally.

      And what on earth does the presumption of innocence have to do with it? When we speak of illegal immigrants in general we are talking about those people who actually ARE here illegally.

      We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

      by denise b on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:28:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No. When you label someone as illegal alien, you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive

        are labeling them with something that is offensive to a LARGE segment of society.  You are using words that have a very negative connotation to a lot of people.  To continue using such words after being asked to stop is bigoted.

  •  They aren't all immigrants (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Swig Mcjigger

    Some don't necessarily want to stay. Migrant might be in actual fact more accurate. Is that more palatable? I have worked with lots of them. Hired them right off the street. I can go find some tomorrow morning if I have to do so.

    Then again I knew one that fell into the same category that  had to go home again to his birth country after his visa ran out and was past the time of his documentation. Was he any more or less at risk of incarceration than the workers on the corner? Whatever category of law might apply the simple fact of the matter is that if La Migra shows up rolling down the street those guys are gonna scatter. Since they got absorbed by the DHS I haven't seen those pale green vans at all.

    If you want to get all torqued off about illegal alien vs undocumented alien, have at it. Fight the war of words. Most of us here are on your side. Deciding after the fact that using the term 'illegal alien' is verboten and then getting all pissed off about it is kinda harsh, especially towards those on your side. We actually listened and commented and engaged you. Over at RedState they just can your ass. If you want to go out in flames and destroy your mojo entirely, feel free. Nobody is gonna stop you. A few might warn you, but if you don't feel like this is where you want to stay, well flame on then.

    Putting on the spectacles of science in expectation of finding an answer to everything looked at signifies inner blindness. -- J(ames) Frank Dobie

    by cactusflinthead on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:20:09 PM PST

  •  I left this controversy in the USA. Here in (0+ / 0-)

    SE Asia, the government regularly deports people who are Illegal Aliens. In fact, they would do it to me, but I legally entered and was granted Permanent Residency. Most of my foreign friends (from Industrialized Countries) are here legally, but occasionally they are caught and deported for overstaying their Temporary Visa. No controversy here, the law is the law and it applies to everyone.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:09:42 AM PST

    •  There probably aren't 7 million of them. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miggles

      And white collar workers tend not to live in the shadows.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 04:24:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, I am referring to 3rd World SE Asia, not (0+ / 0-)

        progressive Northern Europe. My friends are a batch of underfinanced horndogs who improved their countries by departing. Your gain is our loss.

        I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

        by shann on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 03:44:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Teabagges are illegal aliens.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    ....as far as I'm concerned.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 04:20:24 AM PST

  •  Well, Dick Cheney loves using the term "illegals" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mahakali overdrive, snowwoman, a2nite

    as he did in an interview just last night, 2/13/13 with Charlie Rose.

    For many (and hopefully most) of us, that alone should be argument enough to never, ever use the disgusting term, shouldn't it?

    You might also consider the lyrics and background of this song written by Woody Guthrie as a comment on the dehumanization of all immigrants by the earlier common use of another term, "Deportee"?

    On YouTube:

    Arlo Guthrie & Emmylou Harris - Deportee

    --

    --

    Find links to lyrics and more at Wikipedia:

    Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)

    ...The genesis of "Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)" reportedly occurred when Guthrie was struck by the fact that radio and newspaper coverage of the event did not give the victims' names, but instead referred to them merely as "deportees."[2] For example, none of the deportees' names were printed in the January 29, 1948 New York Times report, only those of the flight crew and the security guard.[3][4] Guthrie responded with a poem, which, when it was first written, featured only rudimentary musical accompaniment, with Guthrie chanting the song rather than singing it.[1] In the poem, Guthrie assigned symbolic names to the dead: "Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye Rosalita; adiós, mis amigos, Jesús y María..."[5]

    The Mexican victims of the accident were placed in a mass grave at Holy Cross Cemetery in Fresno, California. There were 27 men and one woman, with only 12 of the victims ever being identified.[6] The grave is 84 feet by 7 feet with two rows of caskets and not all of the bodies were buried the first day, but the caskets at the site did have an overnight guard.[6]

    A decade later, Guthrie's poem was set to music and given a haunting melody by a schoolteacher named Martin Hoffman.[2] Shortly after, folk singer and friend of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, began performing the song at concerts and it was Seeger's rendition that popularized the song during this time.[2]... (continues)

  •  I'm amazed that this generated so many (3+ / 0-)

    comments, both pro and con.  I stopped in early on, had no particular idea what diary it was in response to and moved on, came back only because I saw the 'update' in title and the enormous number of comments, had halfway expected it to morph into a 'Men in Black' comment thread.

    I would have thought it fairly settled onsite that 'illegal alien' is not progressive rhetoric, and that anyone continuing to use it after so being informed would be merely demonstrating their conservative bona fides.

  •  Boy, that's quite the pronouncement. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Swig Mcjigger

    Who died and made you king?  

    To some, I am sure it is offensive.   Just like saying STFU is offensive to some people.   It still doesn't give you the right to demand fealty to your opinions.  

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 05:02:07 AM PST

  •  I support you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles

    I'm surprised that there is so much pushback in these comments about this term.  Whether or not "illegal aliens" is a legal term is beside the point here.  If the preferred term for this very important group of people is "undocumented immigrant" then we should use it!  I'ts a much more humane term, and in  my opinion undocumented immigrants should be able to decide what they want to be called.  

    •  See But that's the Point (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Swig Mcjigger, dhonig

      I represent quite a few folks that are illegal immigrants.  And not a one of them as ever referred to themselves as an "undocumented immigrant." Not once. I live in a community that is overwhelmingly Latino with more than 50% of these people having no legal status. I've never heard one of them call themselves an "undocumented immigrant either." So, let's just be honest, please. The term "undocumented immigrant" is a political term that is used to blunt the emotional effects of the term "illegal alien" that get in the way of actually fixing the immigration law. It is not a self-selected term.

      I fully understand and fully support their reasons for doing so, but to claim that we should use the term because folks who are illegal immigrants call themselves that is just false. They don't. Immigrant maybe. Undocumented? Not even. Not unless they are working with folks who are not immigrants but are fighting on their behalf lecture them that this is what they should call themselves when in the public political realm, for all the reasons that we know (to try and reduce the unconsciously aversive reactions to the words "illegal" and "immigrant.")

      Thus, it is NOT the same thing as Black folks deciding we weren't colored, contrary to some of the analogies made above. Wutsiders had no role in making that decision for us collectively, what we would call ourselves. As far as the term Negro goes, over a certain age many of us still refer to ourselves as Negro (I don't).  

      •  Excellent (0+ / 0-)

        And that's the main part of my argument. I've heard illegal immigrants call themselves "illegals." I've never heard one say "I am out of status" or "I am an undocumented immigrant." The notion that they prefer these terms is nonsense. They were made up by US citizens, mostly well meaning white people and are trying to be passed off as something that the immigrants prefer. I notice that you yourself use the term "illegal immigrant." to refer to them. I don't think anyone could accuse you of being bigoted.

    •  The push back being shown here is an (0+ / 0-)

      aspect of White Privilege.

      •  Er No it isn't (0+ / 0-)

        because it has nothing to do with being white or any other race. It has to do with US citizenship, which is held by millions of other races, besides white. Seriously, Shannkikka demonstrated why "undocumented alien" and the other new euphemisms are incorrect. Do you really think she's speaking out of a position of white privilege?

  •  Is Chuck Schumer a bigot? (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.schumer.senate.gov/...

    From Schumer's official website"

    "All  illegal aliens present in the United States on the date of enactment of our bill must quickly
    (empahsis added)

  •  A very dear friend of mine is from Mexico (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mahakali overdrive, Miggles

    there is no term that she finds more offensive than

    "alien."

    She has legal status now, but came here many years ago as a teenager. Walked across the desert hungry and thirsty, was held captive in a motel room until her uncle could pay her ransom. Thank God she was not beaten nor raped. But she was terrified. That's a lot for a 15 yr old to go thru.

    For her sake, I avoid that term like the plague. And if I ever use it, you are welcome to tell me to STFU already & whack me upside the head a couple of times also.

    Amazing how some of these DK courtesy cops around here are more upset by a bit of anger than years and years of oppression.

    WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Jan: Right-to-Work/Right-to-Live(?)

    by JayRaye on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 08:05:15 AM PST

  •  Do you know the real name for a "green card"?? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Swig Mcjigger, dhonig

    It's called an ARC or an ALIEN Resident Card.  Thus, even GREEN CARD holders, with their legal standing, and status in this country, legality to work, been here for at least ten years, etc...

    ...are called aliens.

    Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. ALL ROYALTIES BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 1, DONATED TO THIS SITE, DAILYKOS!! @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:27:12 AM PST

  •  Drop the I Word (4+ / 0-)

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:30:11 AM PST

  •  Anyone who continues to use the I word after (0+ / 0-)

    being called out on it is being a bigot, period.  Who cares if the term finds use in legal documents or elsewhere?  That doesn't make the term less hurtful or less dehumanizing.

  •  I'm late to the party, but this is nonsense NT (0+ / 0-)

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 04:27:23 PM PST

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