Illegal Aliens Find the Term Illegal “Uncomfortable”

A brief article in today’s Long Island Newsday highlights the efforts by a group called The Applied Research Center, a far-left “think tank” dedicated to racial justice, to have the word “illegal” made illegal when referring to immigrants.

The “Drop The I-Word” campaign seeks to reinforce the message that using the term is offensive and demeaning to immigrants who came here ‘illegally.’ The campaign wants the term “illegal” replaced with the friendlier, and might I add incorrect, term “undocumented.”

However, as a professor of political science at Stony Brook University pointed out, using the term “undocumented” in such cases is flawed because it normally refers to individuals who are seeking asylum in the United States.   Moreover, the word  “undocumented” suggests that those who have violated U.S. immigration laws are simply inconvenienced by not having the proper papers.  But many illegal aliens do have documentation – it just doesn’t happen to rightfully belong to them!

Some illegal aliens complained that the term “illegal” criminalizes a whole community of people and a self-described “undocumented” said that being referred to as an illegal alien makes him “uncomfortable.”

First of all, coming into the United States illegally (whether crossing a border without inspection or hiding in the hull of a ship) is a crime – see Section 1325 of the U.S. Code: Illegal entry by alien – punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.  Lastly, if being labeled as an illegal alien makes one uncomfortable, here is a bit of advice, don’t come to the U.S. illegally in the first place.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar


  2. avatar

    A rose is a rose is a rose; and “illegal” is “illegal” is “illegal” any way you look at it! They’re offended? I’m offended that my tax dollars are paying for your food, lodging, medicine, health care, and anything else they are getting free.
    I don’t care who comes to this country. Just come legally and become a law abiding productive citizen. And raise your children to love this country, not the nation you couldn’t wait to get out of!

  3. avatar

    To all the illegal aliens –
    YOU offend ME!!
    I will not conform!!
    YOU offend ME!!
    You are ILLEGAL & nothing will change that.
    YOU offend ME!!
    You cannot come into my country – ILLEGALLY & change the rules that apply to YOU.
    YOU offend ME!!

  4. avatar

    Oh, poor babies!!!!!! To think they might be offended by the word “ILLEGAL”. A rose by any other name would still be a rose, right? If they actually took the time to learn our English language, they would know that ” ILLEGAL” is exactly what they are. If they don’t like it here, don’t let the front door hit you in the a*s as you leave! I might have a few extra dollars in my pocket and a job if they would exit quickly. As far as America is concerned, this is a “no whine zone”, ILLEGALS!

    • avatar
      John F. Kostrubal on

      I use the term “INVADER:, myself . Don`t be fooled by groups like this, especially groups like La Raza, MEChA and LULAC . These groups need these INVADERS for political and personal preservation, just like certain politicians
      These individuals are willing to sell out Americans for their own agendas .
      Millions have crossed our Southern border illegally since the disastrous 1986 Amnesty, at an enormous cost to American lives and our economy .
      In one year, 2005, over 4500 Americans were killed by these invaders . The F.B.I. has reported that over 24% of inmates in our Federal prisons are non Americans .
      The list goes on, cost and demand to our Medical, Educational , Welfare and all other public assistance programs is at an enormous cost to us taxpayers .
      Yet you don`t hear anything in the biased Media, nor Washington about this travesty .
      Our 1969 mile border with Mexico is NOT SECURE . Less than 50% is operationally secure .Our Border Control agents are suing Obama`s Administration, because they are not allowed to do their job .
      I urge all Americans to vote the them out in 2012!
      Check on your Federal representatives stand on illegal immigration gives a report card on all Reps. and Senators . If your state Rep. has a “D” or “F” grade, vote them out .

  5. avatar

    English has been the universal world language for three-hundred years thanks to the British Empire. People throughout the world voluntarily learn English as a second language. But here in the United States, we have a group of people illegally crossing our southern borders refusing to even learn or speak basic English. On top of this, they’re demanding that we learn to speak Spanish! Our spineless government caves in on this & costs the taxpayers millions to accomodate them. They should take a lesson from our universities. There are NO transitional bilingual educational programs at the college level, they expect you to KNOW the language.

  6. avatar

    The problem here is the illeagals have gotten such good treatment by our fed. gov. for so long they really think they have the right to every thing the tax paying citizens in this country have and it;s not that he in some case’s aren’t given special treatment, benefits medical food stamps low income housing I mean have anyone ever seen a homeless illegal immigrant?

  7. avatar

    Call it what you want. Illegal is illegal. If that makes you uncomfortable change it. Sneak back out.

  8. avatar

    Fine. Call the “illegal immigrants” unlawful immigrants.
    Then we can just shorten that to the “uns”.

    • avatar

      The only thing undocumented here is the actual invasion from south of the border: the general public knows so little about it because any attempt to disseminate the truth is shut down by the open borders crowd. Illegal alien is the accurate term. If someone isn’t comfortable with that, don’t become one. Outrageous.

    • avatar
      Tired of ILLEGAL ALIENS on

      Definition of ILLEGAL: not according to or authorized by law : UNLAWFUL, ILLICIT; also : not sanctioned by official rules (as of a game).
      Definition of IMMIGRANT: one that immigrates: as a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence.
      -Mirriam Webster dictionary

  9. avatar

    Mexico’s main immigration law welcomes only foreigners deemed useful to Mexican society:

    _ Foreigners are admitted into Mexico “according to their possibilities of contributing to national progress.” (Article 32)

    _ Immigration officials must “ensure (that) immigrants will be useful elements for the country and that they have the necessary funds for their sustenance” and that of their dependents. (Article 34)

    _ Foreigners may be barred from the country if their presence has upset “the equilibrium of the national demographics,” if they are deemed detrimental to “economic or national interests,” if they are not good citizens in their own country, if they have broken Mexican laws, or if “they are not found to be physically or mentally healthy.” (Article 37)

    _ The secretary of governance may “suspend or prohibit the admission of foreigners when he determines it to be in the national interest.” (Article 38)

    Mexican authorities keep track of every person in the country:

    _ Federal, local and municipal police must cooperate with federal immigration authorities upon request: i.e., help in the arrest of illegal immigrants. (Article 73)

    _ A National Population Registry tracks every “individual who comprises (sic) the population of the country,” verifying each individual’s identity. (Articles 85 and 86)

    _ A national Catalogue of Foreigners tracks foreign tourists and immigrants (Article 87), assigning each a tracking number. (Article 91)

    Foreigners with fake papers or who enter the country under false pretenses may be imprisoned:

    _ Foreigners with fake immigration papers may be fined or imprisoned.

    (Article 116)

    _ Foreigners who sign government documents “with a signature that is false or different from that which he normally uses” are subject to fine and imprisonment. (Article 116)

    Foreigners who fail to obey the rules will be fined, deported, and/or imprisoned as felons:

    _ Foreigners who fail to obey a deportation order are to be punished. (Article 117)

    _ Deported foreigners who try to re-enter Mexico without authorization can be imprisoned for up to 10 years. (Article 118)

    _ Foreigners who violate terms of their visa may be sentenced for up to six years in prison. (Articles 119, 120, and 121) Foreigners who misrepresent the terms of their visa (as by working without a permit) can also be imprisoned.

    Under Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony. The General Law on Population says:

    _ “A penalty of up to two years in prison and a fine of 300 to 5,000 pesos will be imposed on the foreigner who enters the country illegally.” (Article 123)

    _ Foreigners with immigration problems may be deported, rather than imprisoned. (Article 125)

    _ Foreigners who “(make attempts) against national sovereignty or security” will be deported. (Article 126)

    Mexicans who help illegal aliens enter the country are considered criminals:

    _ A Mexican who marries a foreigner with the sole objective of helping the foreigner live in the country is subject to up to five years in prison. (Article 127)

    _ Shipping and airline companies that bring undocumented foreigners into Mexico will be fined. (Article 132)

    All of the above runs counter to what Mexican leaders are demanding of the United States. The stark contrast between Mexico’s immigration practices and its American-immigration preachings reveals the Mexican government’s agenda: to have a one-way immigration relationship with the United States.

    • avatar

      Well that’s about to change , this country is going to start obeying our laws let the illegals go home and do the same make reforms with their government and if they are so hard working mexico should become a power house one day , and if they come back come legal and they will be welcome.

    • avatar

      Sad day when Mexican laws make more sense than American laws. And at least they enforce theirs.

      • avatar

        saddest when you do not realize that is why we are the USA and who cause this ultimately : The People…..had The People enforced the Law nothing like this would have happened or at least it would have been manageable but the illegals are abused, the citizens get wealthy from the efforts and we have the gangs and visa overstays……etc etc etc………………………………..remember that.

  10. avatar

    You forgot to mention that “illegal immigrant” is inaccurate in addition to dehumanizing. For example, the millions of students, travelers, workers, etc. who came to America on a valid visa, but overstayed haven’t committed some horrible crime. It’s a civil violation and there was no “sneaking” into our country. They are not “unlawful people” as “illegal immigrant” implies. Have them pay a fine, some back taxes if applicable, weed out anyone who committed a felony, and get them on a path to citizenship.

    And move along and get over it.

    • avatar

      If they ‘overstayed’ they are illegal the moment their visa expired. They knew the date it would expire and if they were unable to renew then they should have been deported. We as a nation can no longer afford to play these semantics, we need to be clear about who is legal and who is illegal. We need to shed the dead weight that is sinking our ship.

    • avatar

      So you have crimes and then
      horrible crimes,
      affable crimes. Hey this is invasion and it is horrible. Some have aided terrorists at the Border. They surely are illegal if they overstayed their visas too and likely intended to.
      I know s from Middle Eastern countries came to the DC area and have threatened this country openly and before the first Gulf War they were boastful..
      Unfortunately or fortunately I witnessed some things and people just turn a blind eye. Still do.
      Stan, you don’t get around much.
      This is reality and the USA and her people deserve better!

    • avatar

      That might have worked if your federal government would close our borders but they just keep coming and who do you think is paying the cost? tax’s just keep rising and they expect you to send them to school and pay for it ,it’s costing the nation billions and no end in sight let their own government pay their cost it’s their folks, no they must be stopped and they must go now .

    • avatar

      First Stan, the illegals are not, ‘immigrants’. That term has a legitimizing quality that is both undeserved and deceptive. These are illegal ALIEN opportunists; as in border-law-violating felonious tresspassers.
      Second Stan, regardless of whether the border was hopped, or a Visa privilage was overstayed, the INTENT to exist within the U.S. beyond or without permission is CRIMINAL.
      Third Stan, this nation and its resources and opportunities belong to its CITIZENS, and is not a free-for-all grab bag for anyone with an itchy palm. Therefore, LEGITIMATE STATUS for access to them DOES MATTER. Why dont you list your bank account number if you believe wealth belongs to all willing to take?
      Fourth Stan, the citizenship of the U.S. is not a freebee to be dispensed as an ad flyer on house porches and windshields. Its my BIRTHRIGHT, and for a lucky naturalized few, a PRIVILIGE. Buying it cheap as a fine or a few back taxes for wages that should NEVER have been earned by these encroaching tresspassers (have you noticed the national unemployment rate Stan?) is insulting on its face. Further, why even bring any criminal behavior as a disqualifier into your arguement. You dont recognize the criminal behavior of border security breaches by foriegn nationals anyway?
      I sincerely wish that any trouble from the presence of invading outsiders would only be visted upon people like you and yours. Sadly that cant be avoided by the rest of us.

    • avatar
      Tired of ILLEGAL ALIENS on

      Stan: These “illegal aliens” you describe are just that, illegal aliens. We have immigration laws on the books for many different reasons. These laws were voted on by We The People through our Congress. This is the process! We The People are tired of people like you and illegal aliens. Why don’t you stop requesting “selective law enforcement” and demand law be applied equally?

  11. avatar

    If they are in this country Illegally then they are Illegals. Nothing more to say. This place the Applied Research Center needs to be closed on the grounds that it is a THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY AS IT ADVOCATES ALLOWING PEOPLE TO COME TO THIS COUNTRY WITH OUT RESTRICTION OR CHECKS etc. How many TERRORISTS WOULD THIS RESEARCH CENTER ALLOW IN ???

  12. avatar

    An immigrant is someone who gets a Green Card and stays here legally, like my wife did. We had to be apart seven months before she got hers, so these people can also wait and do it legally. Otherwise, they are illegal, just as they would be in any country they entered without the proper papers. To hell with the Politically Correct sickness, call them what they are, ILLEGALS!

  13. avatar

    The term ‘illegal’s” is used throughout the USA so that all citizens and legal residents know of whom the conversation is about, undocumented could mean a number of different situations, it could even be used to describe an American that has no birth certificate or SSN. Illegal’s is the term to describe a person that is in the country ILLEGALLY and if they do not like the term they should return home and enter the legal way.

    • avatar

      I’m a LEGAL citizen of this country and I’m OFFENDED by these ILLEGALS sneaking into OUR country and DEMANDING that “we the people” change OUR ways to suit theirs and living off of OUR taxes that we are forced to pay to keep them up! I’m HIGHLY OFFENDED!!!!

    • avatar

      The terms “legal” and “illegal” are used in the legilative language that describes our Immigration Laws as passed by numerous Congresses, including those where the Congress was controlled by the democrats for nearly 50 years.

      The only real honest answer to the objections being raised is that it makes a proper distinction between those who waded through the process to become a Legal Alien Resident and those who broke into the country knowing full well that they could bully their way to the front of the line and get amnesty.

    • avatar

      In fact any alien illegal, or not should not come here, or should go back home if they can’t support themselves while their here. As most all other Countries require of those the immigrant to a new land unless they are refugees from a war, or natural disaster in a neighboring Country, and will return when soon with the blessings of the host Country. My personal feelings do not matter here as I am not the King as B.H.Obama believes he is, when he ignores the U.S. Constitution, and decrees his stupid ideas what a jerk.

  14. avatar

    Illegal means someone breaking the law – sneaking into the USA
    Should we change our language to ban the word illegal when it comes to robbing a bank – again breaking a law.
    Should we change our language to ban the word illegal when someone is raped – breaking the law.
    Should we change our language to ban the word illegal when someone runs a red light killing another person – breaking the law.
    Should we change our language to ban the word illegal when drug dealers sell drugs to children – breaking the law.

    Illegal is illegal when laws are being broken. One of our biggest problems today is the ILLEGALS here in America. They cost the tax payers (some people claim the government) billions of dollars each and every year that we allow them to stay in our country ILLEGALLY.

  15. avatar

    according me free speech does not say that my freedoim of speech has to bemolderated is not affording me free speeech…Your obligin me to suggest with colorful adjectives and lessen the meaning of the subject to American is what requires moderation. Not mine. Thank You

    • avatar

      MAN just ignore those liberal clowns every thing you say is going to be rejected especially the truth , they don’t know they are being watched because they don’t know they are standing in a ring, they are just performing so just keep smiling and let the clowns do what they do .

    • avatar

      If you will refocus your idea/s and express them directly, we may all be able to appreciate them; if you care that is.

  16. avatar

    If these Illegal aliens feel embarrased by being called Illegal, they should do something about it themselves.
    I’ll give them two options:
    1) Become Legal Citizens and declare their loyalties to this country.
    2) Go back to wherever they came from.

    • avatar

      first of all the mexican immigrant is not trying to become one of us he brings his culture with him everything in this country has his language on it he has his own entertainment schools stores hospitals and many other benefits that are not mentioned have you ever seen a homeless illegal immigrant ? no you have not because you are already taking care of him . now who will take care of you?

  17. avatar

    When an illegal alien crosses the border he/she is expected to be examined by an Immigration Officer to determine his right to enter the US States from a foreign (alien) country and from my last reading this covers any extraterrestials that maybe encountered on US soil along with US customs agents for the conveyuing craft.

    Should the alien be determined to a person who has been denied permission he is told that he cannot enter the USA and must turn around and return to his country by folot, or conveyance. Should the alien attempt to remain in the USA he would be subject to arrest and detention and subject to deportation proceedings on the basis of being in the United States illegally.

    The attempts of the “don’t we all bleed” crowd at the Applied Research Center reek of liberalism which is known as a mental disorder in network radio and TV and thus can be dismissed since the MAJORITY of US Citizens refer to any lawbreaker as a criminal and a lawbreaking alien entering the USA illegally is an illegal alien by definition.

    Subversives attempting to undermine the Immigration laws and thereby the USA are viewed as left wing extremists, socialists hell bent on subjecting all of the citizens of the USA to illegal aliens draining US resources thru entitlements which results in consequences the Liberals close their eyes to since it does not involve their money nor their possessions (unless they are robbed,killed or mugged by an illegal alien of course). One of the consequences of entitlements is that people who have contributed NOTHING to society feel that the US society owes them something apparently just for being nice enough to grace us with their presence.

    I personally am very pro immigration with ORDER AND SELECTION that would improve the USA economically and socially on the basis of US economic needs. All those illegally in the USA should be given a number which they upon return to their country (OBLIGATORY) forward to the American Embassy,Consulate to register their number and fill-out the requisite form to enter the USA as an Lawfully Admitted Immigrant Alien.. If they are uneducated they can do what MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of Europeans did..they went to IMMIGRATION FORM PREPARERS OFFICES that would spring up overnight (for assistance and fuluing the requests. By doing so control over our borders would be established and those already in line would not be insulted or abused by OBEYING the law and would appreciate the courtesy that your organization APPLIED RESEARCH CENTER ..and look at all the money that your organization can earn by assisting aliens….IT’s ALL GOOD!

    • avatar

      One more thing..Chikldrfen of aliens who GRADUATED from High School in the USA may be permitted to remain in the USA provided they have been accept as a student at an institution of high learning, tech school,college,university or armed forces for front line duty. The famkilies that sheltered them when they came here illegally can shelter these mostly mature children (18 years of age) and llike me had part time jobs while I was at University and paid my own tuition with investments made with my meager funds..which NOBODY GAVE ME!

      • avatar

        First off….ILLEGAL IS ILLEGAL….having no sense of loyalty to the USA. Second, how is it possible for an ILLEGAL ALIEN to join the Military, as the military requires and oath of allegiance to the USA….and the illegal is and remains an illegal alien under U.S. Immigration laws and a Foreign National re a citizen of his or her country of birth? If this is the case, then our military recruiters are breaking the Immigration laws of our nation and should be prosecuted for aiding and abetting a known alien who is illegally residing in the USA. Third, how does the admission of illegal aliens into our military, further the national security of the USA, when many of them come from foreign nations that are currently on our “terror” lists….and how does the military conduct a valid background check on individuals with no legal roots to the USA?

      • avatar

        Only those that serve in the armed forces, and most certainly oversea’s, and in a combat zone. If not there no reason to support their educations at least I can’t think of any, and if that racist then good call me a racist, but it you who feed, and harbor these illegals be they adult or younger, they are not American Citizens, and the 14TH amendment has been misinterpreted by the liberal judicial activism of the Warren Court, and even the more conservative Burger Court. The 14TH was written in 1868, and later ratified To protect former Slaves, and Indians that were here either by being brought by their parents or as chattel without birth records, and Indians that though history wandered back and forth across newly made borders, but was never meant for children who’s parents were citizens of other sovereign Countries or were under the jurisdiction of said sovereign Country. We need to follow the law, and follow the Amendment as it was written.

  18. avatar

    A) They are not “undocemented”. They have documents, in their home nations.
    B) They are not “immigrants” Immigrants come here legally through the front door.

    We can’t allow them to change the language to suit their purposes and soften people’s minds to mush. Please fight these language changing efforts at every turn. Post on their boards, call their lies.

    • avatar

      They are ILLEGAL INVADER ALIENS. My experience with the Central American ones is amazing in the specter of their NERVE.
      They demand we speak Spanish, and even the legal ones have to speak English to them from offices etc,
      they have to do so with their own spelling and pronunciation of our words. Basement = Beisman.
      Rockvile=in de Rrrrokes-bill ,
      and not just when speaking. They write our words this way and are indignant if you try to help them. This is the mindset!
      Can you not see the way they influence their children to believe all is owed to them?
      This increasingly has become inflammatory and as they are pandered to and deferred to by Obama and Napolitano etc they are more in our face and hostile to us, and of course the business sector that feeds them and starves us. Boy they really get heady about this and are now openly rude. Of course there are nice ones-but we are not talking abut them here.

      I also fault Fox for their new Hispanic station and the ad s that say
      ‘AMERICANO COMO TU” American just like you. That would require ENGLISH and patriotism !
      Rupert Murdoch needs a reality check and the realization that his name will go down in infamy .

      • avatar

        When my great grandparents came to this country, they were required to learn english. Their children HAD TO LEARN ENGLISH before they were allowed in school! When did all this change? They got NOTHING FREE like illegals do now. We have to be completely nuts to allow what is happening now!!

      • avatar

        ABC has started a Spanish broadcast station as well. When I have complained to my Congressman, Senator and Governor here in Florida about “press one for English,” and the “birthright amendment” they either do not respond or use fancy footwork to side step the issue.

  19. avatar

    We are doomed if this is the way our citizens think. A baby born to people who are here illegally should rightfully be illegal also.
    Any attempt to receive any type of social services including medical should be viewed as attempted “theft of services” . These services are for Americans !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please arrest and deport all illegals and their illegal children!!! Save our country

  20. avatar


    • avatar
      American Bear on

      I guess they will have to arrest me for using the term because I will not stop using it.

      • avatar

        In the immortal words of ” Forest Gumph ” ILLEGAL is as ILLEGAL does “. The Applied Research Center. is just a bunch of *** scratching liberal dolts without meaningful employment.