I’m interested how certain phrases creep into the vernacular. There’s one I hear in the press, which always made me uncomfortable. I wouldn’t repeat it and don’t want my kids to use it. It’s”illegal immigrant.” Actually makes me feel yucky to even type it here. It’s a condition of immigration based on current interpretation of the law. It’s not the quality and the character of that person. I wouldn’t call a person their disease or physical condition; so why did this become ok? I really appreciated Charles Garcia’s take on the matter in this piece on CNN.com:
Repetition of phrases like “illegal immigrant” is like a poison that infects society, Garcia says. And individuals that have come to the U.S. without proper documentation aren’t criminals, but repeating the phrase “illegal immigrant” increases hate crimes and bias against large swaths of people.
As we begin to learn what it means to be a global citizen, terms like this need to fall by the wayside, as remnants of a more narrow-minded past.