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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 29, 2013 at 7:35 AM

‘Illegal’ vs. ‘undocumented’ immigrants

Immigrants are not ‘undocumented’

I read with interest Hugo Balta’s guest column about immigration terminology [“These immigrants are not ‘illegal,’” Opinion, May 21]. So now a person immigrates here and is here illegally, but they’re not an illegal immigrant? They are simply “undocumented” or a “worker.” Now they just have a documentation issue, like they forgot to submit a form or something.

I remember when they were all “illegal aliens” and then “illegal immigrant” became the politically correct term. The label creep continues. Now we can’t even say they’re here illegally, even when it’s true.

I would be illegal if I sneaked into or overstayed in some other country. There’s no “racial slur” about any of it.

I’m all for legal immigration, but don’t tell me that folks who are here illegally are just “undocumented.” That’s rarely, if ever, the whole truth. It’s not intellectually honest.

I do think most illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay, and I agree that the issue is complicated, but using euphemisms to hide the truth only complicates things more.

Pete Rogerson, Seattle

Comments | More in Immigration | Topics: illegal, immigration, undocumented

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