Thursday, January 17, 2013

Illegal vs Undocumented

I do not claim to know much about politics, but a recent writing
assignment has me researching all kinds of different Acts, Laws, and Measures.
While researching I came across several different articles that had to do
with immigration and the reform plans that President Obama
will try to have passed in his second term.

Seeing as though all my family members are legal (I think), I never
paid much attention to immigration issues. And I, like many others, used 
the term "Illegal Immigrant" to describe a specific group of people.

But through my readings I have found that the term is considered offensive.
And most people prefer to be called an "Undocumented Immigrant."

Here's the difference:

Undocumented Immigrant- Lives in a country without proper documentation
Illegal Immigrant- Violated laws and customs establishing residency in the U.S.

The video below is very good. It easy to understand how the term is offensive. And 
even easier to understand how some people are ignorant as to what is really going on.

Words do matter.


  1. Types of Aliens,
    In law, an alien is a person in a country who is not a citizen of that country.
    An alien who is legally permitted to remain in a country may be called a legal alien of that country.
    An alien who has temporary or permanent residence in a country may be called a resident alien of that country.
    An alien who is visiting a country be called a nonresident alien of that country.

    An alien who is present in a country unlawfully or without the country's authorization is known as an illegal alien of that country.
    An enemy alien is an alien who is a national of an enemy country.
    The word does not refer to any specific race, color, religion or ethnicity. What the minority is or majority is, is not relevant.

    1. Your right, Alien does not refer to a specifc group of people, in Law. But people only use the term to refer to Mexicans. When people say "Illegal Alein," the first think we all think is that they are referring to a Mexican person. Not somone from Canada.
      I guess we'll have to wait and see if Obama updates this Law...

    2. The first illegal aliens I ever heard of were Cuban, then Haitian, then Mexican. Although nowadays, especially nowadays since the War On Terror we hear about all kinds of illegal aliens; Iraqi, African, Cuban, Haitian, Salvadorian, Nicaraguan not just Mexican. I've noticed on the West Coast illegal aliens are assumed to Mexican, In Florida they're Cuban or Haitian and up North they're Canadian or Iraqi. Depends on where you're at.

    3. Yes I forgot about Cubans. I'll take your word for it on the others though.