New York (The Gaslamp Post) – They have feelings, it makes them uncomfortable, and makes people look at them differently from everyone else. Illegal aliens in Woodbury, New York recently staged a protest against what they are calling a “racist” term, the “I-word.”
Pushing for the American public to end their cruel use of the term “illegal alien” and instead use the more politically correct euphemism, “undocumented immigrant,” the group is mirroring the much larger, national campaign, “Drop the I – Word.”
“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.”
“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.”
Associate political science professor at Stony Brook University, Gallya Lahav, said that using the term “undocumented immigrant,” in this context is flawed. “It’s a politically correct way of saying illegal,” she said.
“What you’re also talking about in proper form are the real undocumented — asylum seekers — people who are fleeing for threats of their life or freedom.”