Extraterrestrials or Mexican immigrants? Extraterrestrials or Mexican immigrants?

Illegal immigrant is offensive, inaccurate

It's the act, not the person, that is illegal

“Could the president grant deferred removal to every unlawfully present alien in the United States right now?”

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That’s how Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts referred to individuals lacking the proper documents to be in the country during a recent hearing on DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents).

“Alien” is the legal term to describe these individuals, but Justice Sonia Sotomayor also referred to them as “undocumented immigrants.” She objected to the phrase “illegal immigrants,” which she considers too harsh. Justice Sotomayor even explained that “illegal immigrants” associates them with “drug addicts, thieves, and murderers.”

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The English language is extremely rich but at times it’s also not capable of providing us with “le mot juste,” as Gustave Flaubert would say.

The legal term “alien” may be accurate in the justice system, but certainly ineffective in everyday usage. Illegal alien is even much worse since it conjures the images of extraterrestrials, contrasting them with other aliens who do have the right to be on earth and in the U.S.

When I first came to the U.S. in the late 1960s, I carried a green card officially labeled “alien registration card.” Not knowing English, “alien” meant nothing to me. Now I find the term inaccurate and also deeply offensive.

Also offensive are other terms used to label individuals who are in the U.S. without legal papers. The phrase “illegal immigrants” is favored by conservatives since it matches their political agenda. These people are criminals whose illegal act goes far beyond the lack of appropriate documents to be in the U.S.

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The journey from “illegal immigrant” to serious criminal is not very far, as Justice Sotomayor suggested. In an interview with ABC News, former Arizona governor Jan Brewer could not understand all the fuss about the term “illegal immigrants.” Brewer went on to say that we “believe in the rule of law . . . and we certainly can’t afford the criminal element, with Arizona having to deal with drug cartels.”

Brewer suggested that all “illegal immigrants” are involved in the drug trade. Donald Trump, as is well known, went even further, labeling illegal immigrants “rapists and murderers.”

Actually, the crime committed by entering the U.S. without proper papers is a civil, not a criminal offense; it’s a misdemeanor punishable by deportation. Thus “illegal immigrant” in addition to being offensive, divisive and dehumanizing is also far from being accurate.

A person cannot be labeled illegal. It’s the action that may be illegal. Thus we don’t use illegal drivers, illegal filers, illegal child molesters, etc., to identify people who have committed these kinds of crimes. Nor do we tack on the label illegal to companies that hire workers who lack proper documents.

When the phrase “illegal immigrants” is used we suggest that the people are illegal. It’s an adjective which is only used to describe immigrants and no one else. Human beings, though, are not illegal or legal. They are human beings.

Since the phrase “illegal immigrants” is being viewed more and more in a negative light, the Associated Press, NBC, ABC and USA Today have banned its use. The New York Times did not go that far but encourages reporters and editors to use alternatives,  focusing on actions not the person.

A more acceptable and neutral replacement is “undocumented workers.” This phrase takes away much of the negative charge of “illegal” yet it’s also not completely accurate because it includes children brought into the U.S. by their parents and some other people who may not be working.

Recognizing that the term “illegal aliens” applied to human beings is inappropriate, the Library of Congress changed  the subject heading to “undocumented immigrants, non-citizens, and unauthorized immigrants.” The more accurate phrase, though, is “unauthorized immigrants,” which can be comprehensive and is free of the negative nuances.

The movement away from “illegal aliens” and “illegal immigrants” is certainly welcome because it reaches into the fundamental truth about immigrants as human beings. As Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner stated, “No human being is illegal.”

Author and columnist Domenico Maceri is a retired professor of Romance languages. He lives in California. Some of his articles have won awards from the National Association of Hispanic Publications.

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  • Güerito

    As I wrote about six months ago here:

    In 2012 the Associated Press defended their use of “illegal immigrants.”

    “But what about the cases where we do write “illegal immigrants”? Why not say “undocumented immigrants” or “unauthorized immigrants,” as some advocates would have it?

    To us, these terms obscure the essential fact that such people are here in violation of the law. It’s simply a legal reality.

    Terms like “undocumented” and “unauthorized” can make a person’s illegal presence in the country appear to be a matter of minor paperwork. Many illegal immigrants aren’t “undocumented” at all; they may have a birth certificate and passport from their home country, plus a U.S. driver’s license, Social Security card or school ID. What they lack is the fundamental right to be in the United States.

    Without that right, their presence is illegal. Some say the word is inaccurate, because depending on the situation, they may be violating only civil, not criminal law. But both are laws, and violating any law is an illegal act (we do not say “criminal immigrant”). http://www.ap.org/Content/Press-Release/2012/Reviewing-the-use-of-illegal-immigrant

    AP’s 2013 change banning the use of “illegal immigrant” is part of their PC newspeak, that orders writers to use “addicted to alcohol” rather than “alcoholic,” or “diagnosed with schizophrenia” rather than “schizophrenic.”

    In other words, AP banned “illegal immigrant” for political reasons – a desire to not “label” people. It has nothing to do with the legal issue involved. The fact AP still allows the use of “illegal immigration” and “immigrant living in the country illegally” illustrates this point. https://blog.ap.org/announcements/illegal-immigrant-no-more

    It’s yet another example where accuracy in language usage has given way to political correctness. As Orwell warned.

    • ksmartbl

      Totally agree. All of this is an attempted manipulation of the English language to try and minimize the crime of entering the U.S. illegally. It is disgusting and a transparently vile tactic, as George Orwell was so fully aware of and of which he tried his best to warn us.

      • Glen Olives

        “Vile tactic”? Really? It seems pretty harmless to me. To compare this to Orwellian “doublespeak” goes way to far. When the term “nigger” fell out of favor to describe black people, southern conservatives made very similar arguments. There are lots of things to protest, the be angry about, but this isn’t one of them.

        • Güerito

          Glen, southerners citing Orwell in defense of their use of the “N” word?

          They always understood the term was a slur – that’s why they used it.

          • Glen Olives

            No, “nigger” has only become a slur within recent American history. Let’s not pretend otherwise, please. And yes, the users of this word cited Orwell, among others, to propagate the continued use of an outworn word. By the way, it’s okay to say the word in the context of this conversation.

    • Glen Olives

      This is a topic I can’t seem to work up any passion for. As you know I’ve used “illegal immigration” many times, and we could go down an endless road of sophistry arguing about what is the more or less accurate term to use, but that would be very interesting. I don’t see that this slight change in terminology particularly hurts anyone, and the argument that it’s yet another example of political correctness I just can’t buy.

  • Ironic isn’t quite the right word … hypocritical is more apropos that most of vicious xenophobes also claim a Christian faith. They ignore Leviticus 19: 34 that instructs us to “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” It doesn’t hurt us to modify and update our language. Undocumented immigrant is in many ways more accurate. The person is not likely breaking any laws rather their presences is without proper documentation. We should help them correct the error or respectfully return them home, so long as home is a safe place for them to return. Some may qualify for refugee status. The US recently helped stage a coup in Honduras. The least the US could do after denying them their elected government is give them a safe harbor. There are other examples and other stories. Let us respect their humanity. If you can’t do that, then please have the decency to not label yourself Christian. Hurling insults is hardly loving your neighbor.

  • kallen

    Illegal is an adjective that modifies the following word immigrant. ‘Immigrant’ could have potentially many modifiers: European, unwanted, angry, poor. Each describes a significant attribute. In the articles’ context, illegal is appropriate as they are indeed immigrants that did not lawfully enter the country thus ‘illegal immigrant’ is accurate and descriptive. As to the term leading to connotations of murderers, rapists etc; if the first thing that they did was break one of our laws, it follows that other illegal acts may indeed follow as they do not hold our laws in high regard.

    The article is an attempt to diminish the crime by changing the words. That’s hardly something I can condone.

    • PintorEnMexico

      No it does not follow!! What you’re saying Kallen is that because you have had a traffic violation you are likely a rapist and murder. Your statement makes reason stare… Check out the Wall Street Journal, hardly a liberal shill….

      “numerous studies going back more than a century have shown that
      immigrants—regardless of nationality or legal status—are less likely
      than the native population to commit violent crimes or to be
      incarcerated. A new report
      from the Immigration Policy Center notes that while the illegal
      immigrant population in the U.S. more than tripled between 1990 and 2013
      to more than 11.2 million, ‘FBI data indicate that the violent crime
      rate declined 48%—which included falling rates of aggravated assault,
      robbery, rape, and murder. Likewise, the property crime rate fell 41%,
      including declining rates of motor vehicle theft, larceny/robbery, and
      burglary.’

      A separate IPC paper
      from 2007 explains that this is not a function of well-behaved
      high-skilled immigrants from India and China offsetting misdeeds of
      Latin American newcomers. The data show that “for every ethnic group
      without exception, incarceration rates among young men are lowest for
      immigrants,” according to the report. ‘This holds true especially for
      the Mexicans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans who make up the bulk of the
      undocumented population.”

      http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-mythical-connection-between-immigrants-and-crime-1436916798

      • Güerito

        PEM, I agree that one does not at all follow from the other.

        Just because someone enters the US illegally does not mean they’re more likely to commit more crimes while in the US. (as long as we ignore failure to pay taxes, ID theft, etc) But – murder, rape – of course not.

        But I’ve never bought into Glen’s assertion that illegal immigrants actually commit fewer crimes than native born Americans. But that’s not really the issue here.

        As to her first point, I think she’s spot on. “Illegal immigrant” is not labeling the person, except as it applies to their immigration status.

        • PintorEnMexico

          I don’t disagree that that they are immigrants illegally in the US, and so illegal immigrants. But since Trump is asserting that illegal aliens are violent criminals, the outrageous claim requires outrageous proof. Where is it?

        • PintorEnMexico

          I don’t have a problem with the label illegal immigrants. I’m responding to Kallen’s assertion that crossing the border leads to violent crime. It’s Trump’s assertion and outrageous claims demand outrageous proof. Where is it?

          • kallen

            I never said illegally crossing the border leads to violent crime: you should go back and read the post your complaining about. I said “other illegal acts may indeed follow as they do not hold our laws in high regard” – and that is true.

            But to Trump’s point: Many illegal aliens have committed violent crimes. I’m not saying its anymore than the mean for the general population but pick up any paper or do a google search and you’ll find plenty. Trump is spinning the data to get votes, just like all politicians spin data. That however, is not really news.

        • Glen Olives

          Sorry, Guerito, but the data DOES show that illegal immigrants commit fewer crimes, and for reasons readily understandable. This is from the Wall Street Journal, no less, and the studies are hyperlinked if you’d care to dig further. http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-mythical-connection-between-immigrants-and-crime-1436916798

          • Güerito

            Paywall, Glen, but it doesn’t matter.

            There are no studies that look at the illegal immigrant population in the US v. the native born and find that conclusion. They all look at subgroups that help researchers find the conclusions they want.

            Trust me. I’ve seen them all, including the ones you’ve previously posted.

          • Glen Olives

            Here we go again with conspiracy theory. When conclusions are reached based on good empirical data, published in peer reviewed academic journals, but those conclusions don’t fit neatly within your ideological bent, then naturally those studies “help researchers find the conclusions they want.” Imputing motives to researchers with no dog in the political hunt is pretty weak.

            So, sorry, I don’t trust you. It’s not that you’re a bad guy, it’s just that your confirmation bias is stronger than your formidable intellect.

            There are no credible studies that indicate that illegal immigrants commit more crimes than native born US citizens; indeed if there were it would be an incredibly fertile area for an ambitious grad student in sociology to explore for a PhD thesis: Are immigrants genetically predisposed to criminality?

            But there are lots of studies indicating illegal immigrants commit no more crimes, or fewer crimes, than US citizens. Of course it could be that all of these studies are biased and the researchers conducting them are cherry picking data to confirm their conclusions, but why? We would have to get inside their heads to find out, and of course we cant, which is why your hypothesis that the authors of these studies have a hidden agenda is a non-starter. It smacks of climate change deniers, who claim that the 97% of scientists who believe in man made global warming have some secret agenda (some, like Sean Hannity think it’s to finance their “vacations” to the Antarctic, which is a good a conspiracy theory as any I suppose).

          • Güerito

            One more time. Please post a link, without a paywall, to a study that:

            a. shows illegal immigrants commit fewer crimes than the native born population.

            b. when looking at immigrants, only illegal immigrants, not all immigrants. And, when looking at the native born population, the entire native born population, not just subgroups, such as young, uneducated (native born) hispanics.

            c. the reason I stress the points in b) above is that I’ve seen all your studies and they either i) look at the entire immigrant population or, ii) when looking at the native born population, they focus on subgroups that, for a variety of reasons, are more prone to crime than the entire native-born population. I know why they do that, but it is, truly, (to use a banality mentioned here a couple times) like comparing apples to oranges.

            d. I can go into more detail about why I reject the native-born subgroup studies, if you like.

            In summary: One study. Showing fewer crimes. Illegal immigrants. Entire native-born population.

            When you acknowledge the studies are not there, in the future, you won’t be able to say “illegal immigrants commit fewer crimes than the native-born population.” You’ll have to say something like –

            * immigrants commit fewer crimes than the native population. (who cares?)

            * Illegal immigrants commit fewer crimes than young, hispanic, uneducated native-born Americans. (who cares? and not nearly as sexy sounding)

            It’s OK to say we don’t know. I’ll say it right now: I don’t know. That’s why I don’t make the claims. But if we don’t know, don’t make the claim and don’t cite skewed studies.

          • PintorEnMexico

            And one more time again. Trump says “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re
            not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that
            have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us.
            They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

            That’s an outrageous claim. Following his lead, conservatives are jumping on the issue inventing all kinds of links to Mexican immigrants, illegal or not, and serious crime. That outrageous claim needs proving, not the rebuttal. Innocent until proven guilty and all that. So show me the “one study. Showing [greater] crimes. Illegal immigrants. Entire native-born population.”

          • Güerito

            I’m not Donald Trump. I don’t even look like him.

            As I say above, I’ve never made the claim illegal immigrants commit more crimes.

            Also, If you look above, I go out of my way to say I don’t think just because they break the law to arrive in the US they’re more likely to commit more crimes.

            How more clear do I need to be?

          • Glen Olives

            You explicitly asked for one study. I’m spoiled for choice — there are at least a half a dozen complying with your somewhat unreasonable standards, and all coming to the same conclusion. Pay particular attention to figures 7 and 8, as they are illuminating.

            http://immigrationpolicy.org/special-reports/criminalization-immigration-united-states

            As it turns out the FBI keeps a crime database (who would have thought?) and one of the data points is the immigration status of the convicted perpetrator. This can then be compared to US citizens across all demographic groups. Surprise! Illegal immigrants commit fewer crimes.

            Why this surprises anyone I simply don’t know. It makes perfect logical sense. Illegals avoid contact with the law enforcement at all costs in fear of deportation. This is the same reason they seldom report crimes committed against them.

            But then again, maybe all these demographers and statisticians even the FBI are trying to hide something from us. And Obama could have really been born in Kenya and is a secret Muslim. And the US military’s HAARP complex in Alaska is really a secret mind control weapon. This is like debating with Jesse Ventura.

          • Güerito

            Glen, the study says “This holds true for both legal immigrants and the unauthorized, regardless of their country of origin or level of education,” but when it comes around to actually citing numbers, the numbers relate to immigrants in general, both legal and illegal.

            The closest the study comes to what you claim is shown in figure 6, but that, too, deals with all immigrants, not just illegal immigrants. They try to get around this by saying, “well, a lot of Mexican, Salvadoran and Guatemalan men in the US are illegal,” but that doesn’t cut it. The statistic used deals with both legal and illegal immigrants. A lot of them are legal, too.

            What this report and others you’ve posted show, is that there are no studies that really look only at a comparison of crime rates (or incarceration rates) for illegal immigrants v. the native born population in the US. Fine. I can deal with that. Some advocacy groups try to made educated guesses and surmise this or that. But that is not proving your claim of lower crime rate for illegal immigrants.

          • Glen Olives

            I think that first sentence you quoted says it all. So we’ll agree to disagree as sometimes happens. But let me ask you something. We agree that all immigrants commit fewer crimes, right? Would it not be surprisingly odd that illegal immigrants actually committed more crimes, but their legal immigrant counterparts committed so incredibly few crimes that when the numbers are combined the data is skewed downward making all immigrants less criminally inclined than citizens? As they say, nothing is impossible, but this seems to defy credulity.

          • Güerito

            Glen, that’s kinda what I was thinking, but since it’s just a guess, I didn’t share it.

            You said above that illegal immigrants would do everything possible to avoid contact with law enforcement, so they probably would engage in little crime. Perhaps.

            But I can think of one group I’d expect to be extremely law-abiding: legal immigrants. These people actually went through the difficult and slow process to register themselves with the federal government and submit to a battery of tests, etc. I really would expect legal immigrants to have much lower crime rates than native-born Americans.

            As a result, yes, I do think that including legal immigrants skews the numbers down. How much? Who knows?

            I agree we can agree to disagree. I’ve enjoyed it, as always!

          • Glen Olives

            Likewise.

      • kallen

        I said “may indeed follow”. That’s hardly drawing a firm connection between illegal immigrants and murders and rapists. But more importantly, if illegal immigrants are so concerned about how Americans perceive them, perhaps they should not break our laws. Just a thought.

        I’m not even going to jump into the fray concerning crime statistics. Generally, I agree with you though, however I wish Americans in Mexico were afforded the same courtesy as Mexicans here. Additionally, there are other impacts of illegal immigration and those impacts are not even weighted in the conversation concerning illegal immigration – I won’t go into them here. To reiterate: I am not opposed to legal immigration: only illegal immigration.

    • Glen Olives

      I agree “illegal alien” is not grammatically incorrect, but you’re being a bit pedantic.

      • Güerito

        Glen, you mean “illegal immigrant.”

        • Griffco76

          NO, HE MEANS ILLEGAL ALIEN….AS IN HUMAN THIRD-WORLD GARBAGE.

          • Glen Olives

            Brilliant. You are a scholar and a gentleman.

          • James Smith

            “scholar and a gentleman.” what would you know about the meaning of those words, glen? a phony academic parading on the web as someone who believes he knows something about the subject matter in question when in reality only demonstrating the pathetic quality of Mexican university faculty.

          • Glen Olives

            My last published academic article was one of the most cited by other scholars in Mexico, and received recognition in the US, Canada and the UK.

            It’s funny, though, I don’t remember seeing your name in any published journals. Perhaps you used one of your pseudonyms?

          • James Smith

            like I said…all of those apps returned unopened by real universities in the us, huh? that would go a long way to explaining your xenophobia and hatred of all things american. the more you post, glen, the more we understand the motives for your bigotry.

          • Griffco76

            Thank you! I try.

        • Glen Olives

          Again, pedantic. It seems to be a distinction without much of a difference. It reminds me somewhat of the now dead (thankfully) school of Logical Positivism, where British Philosophers spent (wasted) whole careers debating the meanings of words and their connotations.

          • Güerito

            No, Glen, I really think you meant “illegal immigrant.” kallen never uses the term “alien.” The comment is only about “immigrants.”

            Review the thread.

            The author above gives up on the “alien” argument quite early on.

            His focus is on the nasty term “illegal immigrant,” which, as you note below, you often use.

          • James Smith

            a typical nonsensical meaningless comment from the king of pedantic commentary on this web site.

    • Kallen, when folks start tossing the “offended” word around, you know where they’re coming from.

      • kallen

        If I understand you correctly, you are correct. Cheers.

  • Mexicanbeachbum Robin

    I work in Mexico. I am documented. I pay the fees (alot every year). I am in Mexico legally, as a resident and as a worker. I follow Mexico’s laws. Mexico has rigid rules. If I don’t comply, Mexico would deport me. I want to stay in Mexico so I follow their rules. I am from the U.S., doesn’t the U.S. have a right to enforce their rules/laws?

    • Glen Olives

      This is comparing apples and oranges. There are plenty of foreigners in Mexico that have overstayed there FMTs or FM3s or never bothered with a visa, but you can count those who have been deported on two hands. I started in 2002 with a tourist visa, then a work visa and after three years a permanent resident card (which is actually green — can’t be a coincidence) which doesn’t have an expiration date and I never have to pay any fees. Yes, the process is bureaucratic, but everything is in Mexico. I’ve always found immigration officials to be both friendly and helpful. But back to apples and oranges. Foreigners are not flocking to Mexico. It’s simple economic demographics, combined with the fact that the US immigration system a half-century old relic that hasn’t changed significantly for political reasons. Mexican workers who are wanted and needed in the US simply can’t get visas because of the “dual intent” doctrine, so they slip over the border. It’s a problem of our own making. As I’ve said many times before illegal immigration is much more a political problem than a practical one.

      • Robin merely asked if the U.S. doesn’t have the right to enforce its own laws. It does, of course. Whether those laws should be changed is another matter altogether.

        • Glen Olives

          I don’t know if her question was meant to be rhetorical or not. Has anyone ever argued that the US does not have the right to enforce its own laws? Certainly the Obama administration thinks it it does, as more illegal immigrants have been deported under his watch then any other. It is frankly a silly question. It is a question screamed aloud by scared, foamy-mouthed jingoists at Trump rallies.

          • robinked

            “Certainly the Obama administration thinks it does (deportations)” WOW dude keep guzzleing from the obamanation koolAid trough–the REAL numbers are Waaaayyyy Down from Any/All prior administrations since obobo Counts ‘turned back at the border’ (NO other ‘president’ has twisted the numbers so radically) But don’t let those Pesky Facts get in the way of ur Liberal Fairy Stories………………………sheesh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Glen Olives

            Since 2009 the Administration has deported 2.5 million people, up 23% from the Bush Administration. Those are DHS numbers, not Obama numbers.

            https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/ois_yb_2013_0.pdf

            (But you’re probably right — that Muslim Kenyan is ordering DHS to fake the numbers.)

            Are deportations down since 2013? Sure, the border patrol recently reported (last week) that border apprehensions are now at a 50 year low despite dramatically increased border security.

            These funny things mentioned above are called facts, which are different from conspiracy theories. You won’t find them of conservative websites like By The Numbers. I wonder whose drinking the Kool-Aid.

          • Dallas Autery Y Rocio Heredia

            FM3s and FM2s went out in 2012 to 2013. now you can be a residente temporal or residente permanente.

  • Sharon

    I have never liked the term “illegal aliens” – I always think of little green men in UFO’s. Illegal immigrant is also offensive – undocumented or unauthorized immigrant – maybe. If the USA would adjust their immigration policies to help those who wish to enter the USA, then there would be fewer issues.

    Furthermore – all the nonsense about migrant workers taking jobs from US citizens is just that nonsense. I do not know any US citizen that would pick vegetables or fruit all day in the heat, and live in horrible camp conditions, for the wages that the Mexican workers are paid. If Donald Trump can bring in workers from Mexico to build his hotels, instead of hiring locals, then it should be okay to have migrant workers and they should be documented, be paid fair wages and should have to pay taxes. Non-Mexican citizens who work in Mexico, have to pay taxes.

    We are permanent residents and obey all the rules associated with that visa. We know that there are people from the USA and Canada also, that are in the country on expired or none existent visas. If they are caught they will be deported and or fined, maybe even jailed. Each country has the right to demand people comply with the rules and the rules must be enforced.

    • Dallas Autery Y Rocio Heredia

      Mexican law refers to illegals as illegals. Might as well call them what they are.

  • Dallas Autery Y Rocio Heredia

    what term does Mexico use for foreigners here in Mexico illegally? http://humanevents.com/2006/05/08/mexicos-immigration-law-lets-try-it-here-at-home/

    • Thanks for the link. Very interesting. Actually, there are a number of areas in which the U.S. should copy Mexico. Our healthcare system is one.

      • Dallas Autery Y Rocio Heredia

        I think not. IMSS and Seguro Popular are both struggling with shortages of medicine , blood and doctors. the local seguro popular hospital here in Mazatlan just sent out notice through the press that the need donations of medicine. we have had to purchase medicine for friends that were in the Seguro Popular hospital because the hospital didnt have it. They dont provide much in the way of nursing care. you have to have a family member to take care of you.

        • The government clinics here have long been less than ideal on the issue of supplying medicine. I admit that. It’s an imperfect world. That family members overnight with their hospitalized kin is both a cultural matter plus a necessity often but not always. Good to hear that you purchased medicine for your friends in Seguro Popular, which means your friends received medicine. Mexico’s government healthcare is certainly not perfect by a long shot, but it works more often than not. And the private system is superb. Of course, you need some money to partake of that.

          Contrast what we have to the current system above the Rio Bravo. Spectacularly high medical premiums brought on by ObamaCare. It was a mess before ObamaCare, and now it’s even worse. The system is imploding as premiums hit the roof and insurance companies pull out. Give me Mexican healthcare any day. You are perfectly free to disagree, of course.

          • Dallas Autery Y Rocio Heredia

            I agree with most of what you said. i thought you were referring to the socialized medicine portion only. i have not found the private care to be that expensive. I had a colonoscopy and endoscopy done for $6000 pesos when it was about 17 to 1 on the exchange rate. I also had a CT Scan a few years back for $4500 pesos when the conversion was about 12 to 1. The cheapest i could find it in the US was $4500 dollars. Doctors appointments at Simalares are $30 pesos. Another general doctor i use is $150 pesos. and my gastroenterologist was $600 pesos which is pretty much the rate for all specialists in our area. I live in the Mazatlan area on the Pacific Coast.

    • robinked

      Jailed, Dead, & Deported!!!!

  • Glen Olives

    Our language is in a constant state of evolution — it always has been and always will be. Sometimes there are good reasons for this, sometimes bad, and sometimes who really knows. Eliminating the term “illegal alien” among educated circles is just fine. Nobody is hurt by it. Of course conservatives will label it as yet another example of political correctness gone wild. But consider that when Mark Twain was writing, the term “nigger” was perfectly acceptable. Except for a minority fringe of racist hillbillies, it no longer is. This is a good thing.

    • Glen, nigger and illegal alien are apples and oranges. Nice try, though.

      • Glen Olives

        Apples and oranges today, to be sure, but certainly not given a historical perspective, which is precisely my point: “nigger” a hundred and fifty years ago was a perfectly non-confusing descriptive word to describe people of a certain race, and wasn’t even offensive to most people. It is now. Times change, language changes, as do idioms and common expressions and everything else. Much to do about very little.

  • Griffco76

    Illegal alien perfectly describes the rapists, murders, thiefs, and other third-world disease-ridden garbage that mexico dumps on the U.S. daily. The only reason this is being allowed is because we have an affirmative action monkey for a prez who is determined to ruin our sacred America from within. Under President Trump. the trend gets reversed. Warm up your wallets, mexicans. YOU ARE PAYING FOR THE WALL!

    • Take a deep breath, Griffco, perhaps an aspirin, and you’ll feel better in the morning.

      • Griffco76

        Weak response, Paco.

        • Güerito

          Paco is the nickname for Francisco (Frank). If anyone can explain that to me, I’d be grateful.

    • robinked

      AMEN!!!!

  • Poo-bah. A person who breaks the law cannot get on a high horse about his label. If one does not want to be an illegal alien, then don’t be one.

  • James Smith

    huh? no more nonsensical word games have been contained in a blog comment in human history. a person is illegally present in a nation or not. and if he is, then he is a criminal. period. latinos, including mexicans, should be more focused on compliance with other nations’ laws, rules, and regulations than posting nonsense to try and justify criminal behavior. why do your people not respect our laws, customs, and rules, I asked my Mexican neighbor. simple, he replied. they don’t respect their own. exactly.

    • PintorEnMexico

      Hey lil jimmy, Latrine Painter here. You should go back to being Henry Wilson for a while, you seem a little burned out…

      • James Smith

        thanks for finally accepting the truth of who and what you are latrine painter. you will find getting mental health treatment that much easier for you. I will change my name I guess when I change my religion. but then you also think I am Mormon huh? you must be the biggest goofball ever to post on social media and that is saying a lot for, or against, you. too much dude. you are really a true nut case.

        • PintorEnMexico

          See above henry….

    • PintorEnMexico

      So fun fact, “lil jimmy smith and hank wilson are the same. Not a crime, and ultimately harmless.

      Here’s the evidence (read to the end, it gets progressively better):
      • When one appears here, the other disappears, with a little overlap (see below)
      • Both spew the same style right-wing onward-Christian-soldiers anti-mexico crap
      • Both, in recent occasions, post in all lower case
      • Both post to MND and the right-wing rag Washington Times
      • On two occasions on the W Times they tag team each other within minutes:
      o http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/mar/29/putins-russian-air-force-bombing-islamic-state-eff/?page=all

      Henry Wilson to Fatnot
      “A nonsensical comment.”
      Yeah..so? to Henry Wilson
      “Quite funny that many who support Russian’s policies or secretly admire Putin openly call for a small governement.”
      James Smith to Yeah..so?
      “A nonsensical comment.”

      And this: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/mar/29/liberal-clinton-supporter-behind-open-carry-petiti/
      Henry Wilson
      “Tell “Jim” we heartily agree with his views, but only if he also agrees to attend the Convention.”
      Pat to Henry Wilson
      “I find it very ironic, and scary, that Republicans cry out after every mass shooting and decry that gun free zones are the reason for the shooting and now they are notallowing weapons at their biggest event. Are they really supporters of the Second amendment or are they scared about gun nuts like the rest of us?”
      James Smith to Pat • a month ago
      “I can only speak for myself but can definitely assure you that weaklings such as you should be very scared of “gun nuts” like me.”

      • Here’s my favorite. THEY HAVE THE SAME “Mexican neighbor:”
      o Henry Wilson: “Question to my Mexican neighbor: ‘Why do your people have no respect for our laws? Answer: ‘Simple. Because they have no respect for their own.” http://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/trump-represents-risk-says-mexican-historian/
      o James Smith: “Question to my Mexican neighbor: ‘Why don’t your people have any respect for our laws?’ Answer: ‘Simple. They have no respect for their own”. http://mexiconewsdaily.com/opinion/trumps-wall-must-be-worst-policy-proposal/
      o In fact, do a search on “Question to my Mexican neighbor” and the only two people who show up are lil jimmy and hanky Wilson. And ole jimmy paraded out the same old tired “mexican neighbor” in his post above. Pathetic.

      Now lil jimmy/hanky can get on Disqus and edit or delete their comments but if you disable Disqus, you’ll see the original un-editable comments of every poster to the articles in question.

      • James Smith

        wow…dude…simply like wow. I could not have said it any better. now….don’t you feel better? lol! you really don’t have anything going on in your life do you? I guess the latrine painting business is a little slow these days? too much.

        • PintorEnMexico

          It’s the fun of retirement.

      • Glen Olives

        LOL! Seriously! James Smith, or whatever his name is, is a copy-paste troll who’s obviously never had an original thought in his life, and whatever feeble musings he’s been gavaged from Right Wing websites gets repeated over and over ad nauseam. How many times have we heard the “Mexican neighbor” fable? It would be annoying if it weren’t so entertaining. I guess I’ve lived a sheltered life — I never knew that people like this actually existed. He’s almost a caricature of the model Trump supporter. I can see him sitting in a Barcalounger, wearing a stained wife-beater, drinking generic beer, raving semi-intelligibly about the Mexicans and Democrats and transsexuals trying to use the wrong restroom. What a fun uncle to have over for Thanksgiving.

        • James Smith

          a pathetic series of musings from a pseudo-intellectual posing as an academic. never were able to land a real job in the states, huh, glen?

          • Glen Olives

            Can’t take a compliment? I said you were funny! Please never stop posting comments.

          • PintorEnMexico

            But wait there’s more!

            Also, in one interesting exchange between the two of us James as Henry, in his usual puffy style calls me out for disagreeing with him. In his challenge, he appears to call me out for a fight by stating that my fists can’t be as large as my mouth. In my reply, I put two data points together: One, my father while residing there decried the number of pedophiles in Merida. Two, HW bragged about the police in the great town of Merida. I said, “Oh, and hide the children, another pedophile in Merida is swinging his little….fist.” http://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/pot-gets-green-light-from-supreme-court/
            That’s when Henry Wilson disappeared off of MND and only surfaced to comment on the article about the white guy getting arrested for kissing a minor child on the lips in Acapulco: “A “dirty old man” remains such no matter the language, nation, or culture.” http://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/kissing-young-girls-nets-abuse-charge/
            Hmmm. Methinks thou dost protest too much.

          • mrpoohead

            Glen, I doubt Smith is capable of copying and pasting, I suspect his mother still wipes his bottie for him.

    • mrpoohead

      Ohhhh, you are such a priceless bigot. So there aren’t any “illegal” Europeans or Asians and if there were none of course would be involved in “naughty” activities? Only once before have I come across such a simpleton – “liedetector”, where are you I miss you. James you are wonderfully funny and I doubt you finished kindergarten never mind any other aspect of education. Y’all just keep stoking that still boy.

      JR’s Saturday right – sissy! Don’t forget the cream.

  • alance

    Political correctness is more insidious and dangerous than new euphemisms.

  • alance

    Alien and Sedition Acts

    In 1798, the Federalist-controlled Congress passed four acts to empower the president of the United States to expel dangerous Aliens from the country; to give the president authority to arrest, detain, and deport resident aliens hailing from enemy countries during times of war; to lengthen the period of naturalization for immigrants, and to silence Republican criticism of the Federalist Party. Also an act passed by Congress in 1918 during World War I that made it a crime to disrupt military recruiting or enlistments, to encourage support for Germany and its allies or disrespect for American war efforts, or to otherwise bring the U.S. government, its leaders, or its symbols into disrepute.

  • G.b. Adams

    In stock broker business that’s called painting lipstick on the pig. I suppose referring to Indian casinos activities as gambling was too offensive, so that’s why they now call it gameing. What a crock.

    • Güerito

      They’re Native American casinos! Shame on you. LOL

      • G.b. Adams

        Yeah, I just didn’t want to go off on THAT rant but now that you mention it, here goes? WTF? I was born in America! If that doesn’t make me a native American what does? They may be First Nations people, indigenous or aboriginals, but I consider myself an expat Native American.

  • June Smith

    Illegal aliens are citizens of a foreign country – living in the USA illegally – sucking American taxpayers dry by demanding entitlements to which they are not entitled … to the tune of $200B a year.

    Removing illegal aliens from the country by deportation or cutting them off at the sources of their incentive to stay (expanded E-Verify) will be the first step towards Americans taking back their country and reclaiming 8M blue collar jobs – currently held by illegal aliens.

    Mexico outsourced it’s largest debt to the USA – its indigent citizens – it’s not surprising that it does not want to bring them home and absorb the cost to subsidize them. However, it’s long past due that Mexico step up to the plate and call it’s people home and take care of their own.

  • David Nichols

    Don’t be obtuse Professor, you know perfectly well that the adjective “illegal”, when combined with the pronoun “alien” accurately refers,contextually, to a persons unlawful presence, in this case in the USA.
    “Alien” in this usage accurately describes the citizenship status of a non-citizen…
    All the rest of your efforts at justification of that unlawful presence are simplistic sophistry…
    When the non-citizen is living legally in the USA they have the status of “resident alien”…
    When the resident alien obtains naturalized citizenship, they have the status of “citizen”
    There…that wasn’t so hard.!

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