Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton has promised to never use this term. And the term is: "Illegal immigrant."
Clinton used the politically incorrect terminology during a campaign rally in New Hampshire earlier in November.
"Look, I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in," Clinton said. "And I do think you have to control your borders."
On Tuesday, asked about her use of the phrasing during a Facebook chat with Telemundo, Clinton promised to stop using it.
"That was a poor choice of words," Clinton wrote. "As I’ve said throughout this campaign, the people at the heart of this issue are children, parents, families, DREAMers. They have names, and hopes and dreams that deserve to be respected. I’ve talked about undocumented immigrants hundreds of times and fought for years for comprehensive immigration reform. And I will continue to do so. We are a country built by immigrants and our diversity makes us stronger as a nation — it’s something to be proud of, celebrate, and defend."
Jose Antonio Vargas, a journalist who is an illegal alien, told Yahoo! News in an email that he was happy that Clinton will no longer use the phrase.
"To many Americans I talk to, 'illegal' has become synonymous with 'Mexican,' as if all undocumented people are from Mexico (they are not — I’m from the Philippines), as if all of Latin America is Mexico (it is not), as if there is something wrong with being Mexican," Vargas wrote. "Those words are offensive and hurtful. Words Matter because words and phrases like 'illegals,' 'illegal aliens,' and 'illegal immigrants' frame the conversation, how politicians talk about the issue, and inevitably how policies are created."
Vargas has started a #WordsMatter campaign to get presidential candidates to eschew using "illegal immigrants."
This is just one more example of the political correctness virus. Here's the definition of the term "immigrant":
a : a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence
b : a plant or animal that becomes established in an area where it was previously unknown
The term "alien," in context of immigration, is defined as "relating, belonging, or owing allegiance to another country or government." So the term "illegal alien" or "illegal immigrant" is simply calling a spade a spade, since the immigrants are foreigners that are here illegally. There's nothing racist about that.
Vargas didn't provide any telling evidence that the term "illegal" has become synonymous with "Mexican," but it is true that 49 percent of illegals are Hispanic.
"That was a poor choice of words."
Hillary Clinton, on using the term "Illegal Immigrants"
Using the term "undocumented immigrants" doesn't make any sense. Illegals can and do receive welfare, and applying for welfare requires filling out documents. In states like California, illegals can get driver's licenses as well as practice law, both of which also require documentation. So they aren't "undocumented."
The Santa Barbara News-Press made national news in January 2015 when protests ensued from their innocuous use of the term "illegals" in a couple of headlines. These headlines were "Illegals Line Up for Driver’s Licenses" and "Driving Legal Opens Door to Illegals’ Past." The paper released a statement defending their use of the term:
It has been the practice for nearly 10 years at the Santa Barbara News-Press to describe people living in this country illegally as 'illegals' regardless of their country of origin," the paper said. "This practice is under fire by some immigration groups who believe that this term is demeaning and does not accurately reflect the status of 'undocumented immigrants,' one of several terms other media use to describe people in the Unites States illegally…It is an appropriate term in describing someone as 'illegal' if they are in this country illegally.
Clinton's newfound reluctance to use the phrase "illegal immigrant" is another example of political correctness run amok.