Immigrant: What's in a Name
The DACA debate is a war of the words.
Immigrants and immigration are no doubt the hottest buttons in political debates recently. On March 5th, 2018, many Dreamers, AKA DACA recipients, marched on DC demanding a resolution to the DACA deal. March 5th was the deadline, but so far, no final bipartisan agreement has been reached. So the Dreamers made their voice known.
Words and our choice of terms are potent. When it comes to immigration debates, DACA, Dreamers, Undocumented, and Immigrants are commonly used in mainstream liberal media. An interesting editorial choice of lexicon, because the more precise legal terms highlight the distinction between immigrant versus illegal alien.
An immigrant is one who is in lawful possession of a Green Card in their own name after their identity is verified by Homeland Security with biometrics and official vital records. Immigrants reside permanently in the United States and are allowed to work, obtain a Social Security Number, and a DMV license or ID.
An illegal alien is a national of another country who is living here in the US but lacks the LEGAL status to do so. Calling undocumented individuals a group of immigrants is incorrect. It is a misuse of the term because it applies a legal term to describe an illegal status. This is not about prejudice, but jurisprudence.
America is a nation of immigrants. America is not a nation of illegal aliens. Perhaps this mix of terms is the reason why USCIS changed their mission statement recently to avoid confusion.
Every person who came to the United States or whose parents or ancestors arrived through a legal port of entry and were admitted after inspection by an Immigration Officer, with the status of immigrant or permanent resident, were legal immigrants.
Illegal Aliens either did not enter at a port of entry or came here under a valid Visa and overstayed. Either way, the later do not possess a legal status that allows them to currently be in the country.
Without legal immigration status, an individual does not have the right to be here, let alone make demands of a government that did not authorize their presence within its dominion. Only US citizens can influence the government. This is the reason why Green Card holders are not allowed to vote. When they do, they can lose their status, and deportation has resulted in such cases.
Another way that US citizens can influence the government is through civic activity. During the 1960s, politically active Americans chose civil disobedience to influence the government through protests, sit-ins, union strikes, etc. In the American democracy, we the people have the right to free speech and it's been exercised in protests, marches, petitions, and many other forms.
The American Revolution was, after all, "We the People" with a "Government for the People," elected "By the People." People meaning American citizens, not citizens of other countries who feel American. No, legal citizens, either by birth, descent, or naturalization.
Unless you can obtain a US Passport lawfully without committing identity fraud, you are not an American citizen. This is a statement of fact.
What Dreamers did in DC on March 5th was attempt to influence the US Government as non-US citizens. It's similar to American citizens flying to Paris and storming the Bastille screaming "Si'il Vous Plait Maintenance. Je suis Francais. Mon Coeur est Francais mais Je ne sais pas Citoyen."
Translation: "Please Now. I am French. My heart is French but I am not a citizen." Ridiculous would be the response. Followed by being laughed out of Paris and France.
Yet when a similar situation occurs here in America, in our own capital, anyone who responds with the sentiment of ridiculous is labeled the dreaded "R" word—a racist. Why?
Name any country who would not find it amusing or offending to be riddled with a Federal budget shutdown and civil unrest because of demands from those who are not its citizens?
About the author
California Conservative who prefers a Governor Reagan type in Sacramento. Reads good books, travel bug, learning Spanish, pet parent. History is a hobby. Mysteries and Detective films top choice, polyglot with Masters in Industrial Psych.