The “Immigration” Name Game

File Photo of U.S.-Mexican Automobile Border Crossing - adapted from image

(Analysis and Commentary)

Are they immigrants? Or are they illegal aliens? Or illegal colonists?

Illegal colonists … illegal aliens … illegal immigrants … undocumented immigrants … undocumented persons … immigration … migrants … the massaging of jargon continues to be part of the political posturing over U.S. residency and illegal entry.

The would-called “immigration” debate rages anew.  Both the Senate “Gang of Eight” and the Obama regime, in late January, announced new initiatives to address the immigration process and how to handle illegal aliens.

Both sets of arguments focus on amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, ultimately rewarding their illegal entry, or illegal stays, with citizenship or permanent residence.  Among other things, both visions also pay service to the notion of stronger border protection and more energetic enforcement on employers to verify employment status.

But in the age of information-deluge, branding and image, the effort seems to be made, by politicians and politicized mass media, to rework the very language used to describe illegal aliens.

Actual immigration is a legal process, defined by law, with naturalization referenced by the U.S. Constitution.  One’s citizenship status and lawful right to work in U.S. territory is a legal matter, subject to legally defined mechanisms.

Despite efforts to reduce immigration and emigration to generic terms involving movement, perhaps applicable to prehistoric cavemen wandering from one undefined land mass to another, as a practical matter immigration relates to citizenship or residency status.

A student in the United States on a student visa is not considered an immigrant.  They are considered a student.  A tourist visiting on a tourist visa is not considered an immigrant.  If they decide to escape into the woodwork and start working illegally, and stay 5 years illegally, is it really realistic to call them an immigrant? Or are they the guest who wouldn’t leave.

In fact, the numbers who actually do enter legally, and honestly, and go through the immigration process, to become actual immigrants taking on legal status as actual permanent residents with a green card, or U.S. citizens, highlight the distinction between actual immigrants and illegal aliens.

Illegal Aliens as Anti-Immigrants

By thumbing their nose at the legal process of actual immigration, by thumbing their nose at the immigration process, it is as if the illegal aliens are a kind of anti-immigrant.

To deem them immigrants should likely be considered an insult to actual immigrants.

To provide amnesty also would be more than insulting, actually also unfair, to those who have embraced the legal process of immigration.

Amnesty would mean granting permanent residence or citizenship to those whose presence is defined by its illegality.

So it does not seem truly fair to refer to illegal aliens as “immigrants.” Even the term “illegal immigrants” seems more tortured than anything else, an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.

There undoubtedly are those who, in an attempt to tip their hats towards the matter, place the word “illegal” in front of “immigrants.”  But the illegality itself, the rejection of the legal process that is actual immigration, simply makes the politicized jargon “illegal immigrant” a contradiction in terms.

“Undocumented immigrant” is really just a rephrasing of “illegal immigrant” given that “undocumented” sounds like an attempt to come up with a euphemism for being illegal, to come up with self-satisfied jargon to dress up the image of somebody wading through the Rio Grande river at 3 A.M. and then living in a house with 20 other men who ease nature out in the yard because there are not enough bathrooms, because the one-family dwelling was not made to be used as a hotel for 20 men.

Illegal Coloniziation, Illegal Colonists

But to the extent that a number of illegal aliens apparently actually have regular homes, to the point where they are sending children to school, if not college, and to the extent that apparently most, if not all, illegal aliens siphon off funds from the U.S. economy to send to the home country, the term “illegal colonist” probably could be even more accurate and descriptive than “illegal aliens.”

What makes the illegal colonists all the more curious is the fact that some of the territory where large numbers have been settling used to be part of their home country.  There are large sections of the American west, or southwest, including part of California, that used to be part of Mexico.

In a war between Mexico and the United States, that territory was won for the United States and became U.S. territory.  But it used to be Mexican territory.  And now, with large numbers of Mexicans settling there, perhaps illegally, are they colonizing it, creating a de facto return of the territory to Mexico, one family at a time?

De facto colonization becomes all the more clear, if there is not really a desire to become part of a new country, not really a desire to speak American English, but rather a desire to retain and assert an extension of the culture and language of the neighboring home country.

And then there is the usurping of jobs, money, economic activity and even property and land away from U.S. citizens, into the hands of the illegal colonists.  There is the siphoning of wealth out of the target country being colonized, sent back to the home country, which is what happens with colonization.

One can begin to understand why one or more Mexican presidents, rather than being embarrassed by the flood of people out of his country, instead has smiled grandly while acting that it was simply a given that the illegal colonists were perfectly natural in what they were doing, and should have their interests promoted, if not white-washed.

At the same time, one might argue that an element of colonization is missing if the home country does not have some kind of governmental control over the target country.  In other words, someone might argue that, unless the actual government of Mexico actually sends troops into southern California, and tries to regulate what happens there, the process is not really colonization.

But, in reality, while the illegal colonization has been very diffuse, and carried out on a grass roots level, that fact simply has made it all the more subtle and pernicious, easier to conceal, and easier to take root.

And the shift of political power, while gradual not immediately overt or large-scale, is real.

At least one former U.S. Congressman from California, a conservative Republican who deemed himself prolife, already was claiming, in the past decade, that he was voted out in favor of a liberal Democrat because of illegal aliens voting illegally for his opponent.

Ethnic Politics

The author once saw a communication from an Hispanic lawyer in the Washington, D.C., area, seeking a group for a fundraising event for a local politician.  The lawyer was openly racist in his communication.  The racism was on multiple levels.  The lawyer declared that the future of politics in the United States was Hispanic or Latino.  And he said that people should come to the fundraiser because the candidate was a Latina.

Some commentators have suggested that the Hispanic vote might have tipped the balance in favor of Barack Obama in the 2012 election, after Obama pandered to amnesty for illegal aliens, most of whom apparently are Hispanic.

A portion of those Hispanics likely could have been illegal aliens granted amnesty.  And somehow, the issue of amnesty for illegal aliens seems to have been been cast as an Hispanic issue, even though many Hispanics in the United States are not illegal aliens, and did not enter the United States illegally.  Rather than there being a schism between Hispanic Americans and illegal aliens, the suggestion seems to be that they have shared interests.

Ironically however, the opposite should be true.

There would be a tinge of self-destructiveness in Hispanics supporting amnesty. Illegal aliens could be grabbing ip jobs, housing and government processing resources that could have gone to legal immigrants and their families back in Mexico.

The law-abiding immigrant who waited to enter the United States legally, became a citizen and would like to see his family back home join him might have waited years for that.  Instead, somebody else, possibly from his home town, thumbed his nose at the law, and is living with his family, perhaps down the street, all of it illegal.  The bad person who was dishonest and unethical enjoys life living a lie, while the good person who was ethical is lonely for his honest family who wait their turn back home.

And amnesty would reward the bad person, to the detriment of the good person.

Perverse Incentives and De Facto Discrimination Against Legal Immigrants

Past waves of amnesty, combined with new waves of amnesty, would give a perverse incentive to continue illegal entry.

It would mean giving a preference to those who are self-selecting by their willingness to be unlawful.

Illegality would actually become a criterion for citizenship, discriminating against others from the same country of origin for obeying the law and not entering the United States illegally.  Those who respected the law and waited their turn would be left home, while those who defined themselves by their willingness to break the law would receive preference.

A perverse incentive therefore would be created, endangering vulnerable populations, by signaling that, yet again, preference was given to those who were willing to risk their lives and personal safety by crossing the border illegally in cooperation with smugglers.

To the extent such a criminal infrastructure was therefore given an incentive to exist, the United States would then be fostering systems and processes that likewise could facilitate the smuggling into the United States of terrorists, narcoterrorists and contraband, be it illegal drugs, weapons, explosives or other dangerous persons or items.

Racism and Unconstitutional Preference

There also would be more than a whiff of racism in amnesty.  By historical and geographic accident, it seems to be a commonly accepted notion that the bulk of illegal colonists are from Mexico or some other Latin American origin not too distant.

The U.S. Constitution prohibits discrimination based upon race or national origin. Amnesty would do just that, in favor of a particular ethnicity and a particular set of nations of origins.

That alone makes amnesty a problem, as well as a grounds to strike it down.


One twist on the historical record is the fact that, at an earlier stage in some of the modern waves of immigrants, illegal aliens and amnesty, there were narrowly focused issue involving refugees.

As a result of the subjugation of the Vietnamese by the brutal scourge of Communism, a number of Vietnamese were allowed to immigrate to the Untied States as refugees.  The situation was complicated by the United States having fought a war in Vietnam, and being obligated to help its allies and friends.  They included individuals and their families who were friends of the U.S. war effort and could have faced retribution by the Communists, even beyond the general brutality of living under a dictatorship of thugs.

Perhaps more significant, there was a massive wave of Salvadorans entering the United States, many illegally, because of the civil war in El Salvador that flamed up at the beginning of the 1980′s and festered into the 1990′s.

At one point, some sources estimated that, from a comparatively small country of fewer than 10 million people, several million refugees from the civil war fled all the way to the United States, many ultimately settling in the broader Washington, D.C., region.

For much of the Salvadoran conflict, the context was one in which the Cold War was still raging, in which another Cuba was feared to be forming in Nicaragua, and in which leftist rebels, such as in El Salvador, were considered to be in league with the likes of Cuba and the Soviet Union.  The Salvadoran civil war was viewed as part of the global contest between the United States and the Soviet Union.

As a result, the United States was considered to be tied to the conflict, because of aid and support for the Salvadoran government and its military.  When human rights abuses occurred, including the murder, or rape and murder of American religious missionaries, Congress reportedly received more mail opposing U.S. military intervention in Central American than the amount of mail that had been received opposing the Vietnam War.

So a dynamic emerged in which it was considered ethical or humane to aid the Salvadoran refugees, against that entire backdrop, even if the refugees had entered the United States illegally.  The issue was not just one of economic opportunity or poverty, but the brutality of the civil war, the international politics surrounding the civil war, the human rights abuses and the posture taken by the United States in El Salvador at the time, for geopolitical reasons.

There was a sense of a moral obligation to help the refugees, who eventually were given wide-spread amnesty to immigrate legally.

But in the process, another dynamic was created, in which a large number of people from Latin America, who entered the United States illegally and were working often menial jobs, could be viewed as sympathetic victims, and provide an opportunity to get on a high horse politically.

Activists and entities arguably could find it easy to get confused, and think that, rather than helping war refugees, it was “cool” to help Hispanic illegal aliens in general.  Rather than helping refugees caught between Marxist militants and a brutal military, it was somehow trendy and fashionable to play ethnic politics and promote a particular ethnic group, with ethnic-sounding names, who spoke a foreign language, who were different than the supposed white establishment.

So has that dynamic somehow been distorted to promote the interests of economic opportunists from an entirely different national origin?

Ironically, when would-be illegal aliens are of an entirely different race, they do not seem to be as fashionable.  The Haitian boat people were not welcomed as openly, for example.  A difference was supposed to be drawn when dealing just with poverty.

Interestingly, one does not seem to here Mexican illegal aliens referred to as economic refugees.

Nor does one seem to hear about them being refugees form the growing violence in Mexico, the break-down of rule of law in the face of narcoterrorism and organized crime.

Of course, the growing violence seems to have stepped up more in recent years, which leads to another question.

Are illegal aliens harming their home country, by not being there to help?

Ironically, despite would-be illegal colonists draining the U.S. economy of untold amounts of wealth, grabbing jobs and siphoning off funds back to the home country, could it be that the home country is actually suffering because of its hemorrhaging of people?

Those illegal aliens had an obligation to work hard and try to help things get better back home, not just with wiring money now and then.

One recalls speculation that one reason Hitler and the Nazis were able to rise in Germany, which had been a far more civilized country than Mexico, was because World War I had killed off a lot of Germans.  The notion was that, perhaps, a lot of the German middle class, and other leaders, were killed off in the war, and so were not around to help contribute to society in post-war Germany.  Some of the best and the brightest were no longer around to stop Hitler.

Has that been happening in Mexico? Is Mexico under threat internally because the illegal aliens fled, not only helping prop up criminals by propping up illegal human smuggling, but not being there to be a part of Mexican society?

On the one hand, the illegal aliens are actual or de facto criminals themselves, given the illegality of their entry, or the illegality of their remaining and the illegality of their taking jobs they were not allowed to grab.

On the other hand, the illegal aliens are also marked by physical stamina, bravado, daring, hard work and perseverance. A number are characterized by raw intelligence and ingenuity, and some level of commitment to family.

Had millions of people with those traits been present in Mexico, instead of absent, would things have been different, in the face of the rise and expansion of powerful, violent criminal syndicates and narcoterrorists?  Could it be that the United States, by failing to secure its borders, and failing to enforce the law, tolerating illegal aliens and mulling amnesty, ended up creating a regional security threat, and national security threat, by participating in the weakening of Mexican society?  It seems little doubt that the United States tolerating and rewarding illegal aliens, the hemorrhaging of people from Mexico, weakened Mexican society, irregardless of the flow of illegally obtained funds siphoned from the United States into Mexico — illegally obtained in terms of the work being taken illegally, even if the work itself could have been legal if performed by a U.S. citizen.

So what is the solution at this point?

If that many Mexicans want to be part of the United States, perhaps one solution would seem to be that part of Mexico — or rather, an additional slice of Mexico — should become part of the United States.  The logical area would seem to be Baja, in terms of a definable section, close to California, with just a narrow strip adjoining the rest of Mexico.

The challenge of governing Baja as a territory, and establishing rule of law there, would be daunting.  But there also would be attractive coastline, and presumably opportunities for both investment and new work.

As, as a U.S. territory, Baja also could be a better destination for millions of illegal aliens to be deported to, rather than Mexico as a whole.  Or perhaps, it could be a suitable staging point for a future reintroduction into the 48 states for at least some of them.

But whether they are called illegal aliens, or illegal colonists, Baja would be better-suited for colonization by both Mexicans and Americans, certainly a better destination for Mexican colonists than southern California or Illinois, if said Mexicans are not entering the United States legally.

Illegal Aliens, Not Immigrants

But referring to illegal aliens and illegal colonists as immigrants is like calling a burglar an undocumented house-guest.

If you discovered a burglar had decided he liked your garage, and simply started living there, should he be called an illegal tenant? Should he be given a path to home ownership, actually having the legal right to be in your garage?

… and Americans want those jobs

One final note.  The notion that illegal aliens took jobs no Americans wanted is simply false.  Even at least one Senator, during the amnesty press conference, even tried to rattle off lists of jobs that somehow “we” had given them.

The reality is this.  Even before the Second Great Depression hit, Americans still wanted those jobs.  Put differently, were jobs seemed to be taken up by legal immigrants from a Latino national origin, English-speaking Americans of non-Hispanic ethnicity still wanted the jobs.

One could go into a fast-food hamburger eatery near the White House, and see nothing by Hispanic young men behind the counter, speaking to each other in Spanish. Yet if one drove just a few hours, such as to a small town in Pennsylvania, and went to another fast-food hamburger place, it was completely different.  Behind the counter were non-Hispanic whites speaking English.

Both restaurants are part of the United States.  Americans, native-born, English-speaking, always wanted those jobs.  If there ended up being a racial or ethnic distortion in one particular locale, that was a vagary of that locale, perhaps related to tactics employed by patterns of settlement.

Economic Impact

Perhaps the declining numbers in the estimate of illegal aliens is related to the Second Great Depression forcing the issue.  But perhaps, also, Mexico is not the only country disrupted by the wide-scale lawlessness represented by the illegal aliens.

Perhaps the advent of lingering nature of the Second Great Depression, prolonged under the Obama regime, actually has been caused by the illegal aliens.

In addition to stealing jobs from Americans, they sometimes took work in a manner, such as with day labor, that was disruptive and ad hoc, instead of sustaining good wages in lasting jobs.

The cancer of lawlessness also extended to unlawful wages, apparently.

It turns out that economic model does not work, apparently, in addition to the draining of resources by the siphoning of of funds out of the country.

In the end, if one looks at the “before-and-after” of the economic decline, the presence of large numbers of illegal aliens was part of what was different, leading up to the decline.

To be sure, there have been other factors, such as abortion depleting the core population by 55 million and creating a demographic time bomb, delayed or non-existent marriages, the rise in immorality in the culture, the breaking up of families, globalization and outsourcing to China and India and others.

But the presence and economic disruption caused by millions of illegal aliens, illegal colonists, is undeniable.





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