Let’s Stop Calling People Illegal
I don’t really understand what people are talking about when they refer to other people as “illegals.” Excuse me? You mean those people who couldn’t find a job to support themselves in their home country and sacrificed everything to come here and work? The ones that left behind their families and friends just to arrive in a place so unwelcoming that their very presence is breaking the law?
Yes, by the laws that a bunch of white men have been creating these days, they are undocumented. But they are not illegal. What’s illegal is racial profiling, something that they undergo all the time. What’s illegal are the conditions within the detention centers that so many of them are held in. What’s illegal is leaving children unattended while their parents are taken off in ICE raids to be deported.
I understand the arguments that our country couldn’t hold all the immigrants that would arrive if we had open borders, and that it’s not our responsibility to help all these countries, and that everyone should just get in line, and stop trying to cheat the system. I am not advocating completely open borders by any means. But I do believe that it is our responsibility to accept some immigrants, especially considering that most of the situations that they are trying to escape were created by us. Take Haiti. The US intervened in Haitian economics for decades and reaped enormous benefits doing so, while Haiti has only become poorer and poorer. And still, we accept very few Haitian immigrants in comparison to Cuban immigrants, who are escaping a communist government that we are politically against.
About the “wait in line” logic. I will say this once, and only once.
THERE IS NO LINE. NONE.
What there is is a crowded, hot room, with no fans and hundreds of bodies waiting for someone to come out of that door and help them. The ticker machine has stopped working, and the hundreds of people waiting outside the room have started to grow restless. A lot of them have decided to seek other options, since the crowd hasn’t moved for days. A few of the older people in the room have fainted and been carried out.
As a poor Mexican, or Guatemalan, or Salvadorean citizen, the chances of getting a visa are slim. From there, the chances of getting a green card are even worse. So, people have to make difficult choices. That does not mean that they are criminals.
Please, help me stop the use of the word “illegal” when referring to undocumented immigrants.
Also, take a look at this Colorlines Pledge to get media outlets to stop using the word.