A New Name for Illegal Aliens – “Visa-less” Asylum Seekers

USA_Passport_StampCreativity in avoiding the use of the term “illegal alien” for those who violate our immigration law seems to have no limits. The latest ploy appeared in a Briebart.com story about the huge surge in Cuban illegal immigration since President Obama launched his diplomatic opening to Cuba.

The July 20th article was the first we have seen to term Cuban illegal arrivals as “visa-less.” And to confuse the reader and presumably to evoke sympathy for the new illegal arrivers, they are described as “asylum-seekers.”

The article gets it right in identifying the surge in illegal immigration of Cubans provoked by Obama’s action – five times the number in 2011 – but it is misleading in suggesting that these new illegal arrivals are fleeing persecution and seeking asylum. While it is true that they are treated as if they are refugees, their claim to that status is fiction created by out-of-date law and procedures. If the same new Cuban arrivals had been intercepted at sea and given the chance to argue that they should be treated as refugees seeking asylum, the vast majority of them would have had their claims rejected, and they would have been sent back to Cuba.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar
    Not Politically Correct on

    I can put a dress and lipstick on a pig, but guess what it’s still a pig.

  2. avatar

    IS is trying to infiltrate the flow of refugees from all of Latin America. They are not stupid like our government. Hopefully Trump will get a handle on this immigration from countries that hate us and want to kill us. Trump 2016

  3. avatar
    Victor Valdes on

    The actions of this administration against its citizens are preposterous, these actions will no longer be tolerated or accepted by a lawless administration. We need jobs and food on our table and a roof over our head, these we need for our kids and their kids… Our future is at stake if we let these bigotry go on in this GOD loving nation! Of course we are angry and who wouldn’t be, when we Americans are being undermine and thrown by the wayside for the sake of ilegals walking through the border like its their own backyard. No more of traitors in this country. We must stop Hillary from becoming president of the United States of America.

    • avatar

      You are absolutely correct. Recent, legal immigrants are also cut out of line by illegal aliens. It’s dumb as spit, but look at the Obama administration. What might we expect from a serial liar, anti-American president. If Caliph Obama had it his way all our illegals would be muslims, with Sharia Law not far behind. That’s about as traitorous as it gets. Why quibble over minor details?

  4. avatar

    Virtually all of them who are caught at sea, even if it’s a hundred yards from shore, are returned to Cuba. They have asylum hearings on board US vessels and back they go. Some of them are now injuring themselves so they are brought ashore for medical treatment on US soil. About a month ago, one swung a machete at the sailor attempting to take them into custody before they got near shore.

    And as noted in the Brietbart link, Sen. Marco Rubio, himself the son of pre Castro Cuban immigrants, points out that these same people return to Cuba many times and nothing happens to them. Rubio wants to end the automatic refugee status. The real political dissidents are people like the Ladies In White, who protest after church every Sunday in Havana, and are frequent targets of government arrests. Of course, this administration ignores their treatment when it’s sucking up to the Castro brothers.

    Meanwhile we accept every reprobate who washes up on shore. As the South Florida Sun Sentinel pointed out last year in a series called The Cuban Criminal Pipeline, people born in Cuba are 4% of Florida’s population, but are involved in huge numbers in economic crimes, including over 70% of healthcare fraud and cargo theft in the state. Many return to Cuba with their stolen money.