There is a new article in Newsday today that reports on a group of illegal aliens who are protesting being called illegal aliens:
A small group of immigrants gathered in Woodbury Monday to protest the use of the word “illegal” to describe those who have entered the United States without documentation.
“By saying illegal, they’re assuming that we broke a criminal law,” said Jackeline Saavedra, 27, of Bay Shore, a Touro Law Center student who identified herself as undocumented. “Not everybody enters illegally.”
Coordinators said they prefer the phrase “undocumented immigrant.”
Here’s the problem I have with that: You did break a criminal law. Where there are hundreds if not thousands of people who are “standing in line” in order to obtain legal standing, you cheated, broke the law, and came on your own terms. That is wrong (and I do understand that calling something “wrong” in our postmodern culture is…uh…well, wrong).
Perhaps that’s my real beef with all of this, the normal talking points aside (such as not paying income taxes, etc, etc): This is just the next effort of a group of people organizing in order to redefine “wrong” as “right” with the result of having to bear no responsibility for their actions and guilting everyone else into agreeing with them (Romans 1 comes to mind). In our world of Relativism, there is no longer any significant sense of “wrongness”.
Though there are plenty crying out against this latest move, the sad reality is that it will work. It will slowly but eventually gain traction and the social pressure will be such that it will be considered “hate-speech” to use the “I-word”.
“Using a phrase like ‘illegal aliens’ or ‘illegals’ … reinforces the notion that you could treat another individual as less than a human being,” said Alina Das, assistant professor of clinical law at New York University. “One action — whether it’s a crime — shouldn’t be used to define a whole group of people or one individual.”
In no way would I ever advocate treating another human being as anything less than that, understanding that all humanity is made in the image and likeness of God. However, it does not follow that calling a law-breaker a law-breaker is stripping said law-breaker of their identity as a human. We cannot continue to fall victim to this PC madness by being forced to redefine away morality and ethics.
the word “illegal” makes Elias Llivicura, 18, who described himself as undocumented, feel “uncomfortable.”
“We also have feelings too,” said Llivicura, of Bellport, who came to Long Island from Ecuador at age 8. “It makes me feel like I’m different from everybody else,” he said. “It makes me feel like really bad inside.”
Clearly, as an 8 year-old, young Elias did not make the choice of how he came to live in the United States, but no country is obligated to change their laws because calling people to account for wrong decisions makes them feel bad. It should! That’s what a conscience is for. I hope no one would suggest that we stop using the “t-word” for all of those “non-permission granted obtainers” who feel bad when they’re called thieves. It is wrong.
We must continue to hold people (ourselves included!) to the dignity of human responsibility and push them towards doing what is right.