‘Illegal’ Is the Proper Word to Use

Published on July 16th, 2014

A blatantly dishonest propaganda line of open border advocates is comparing the cause of illegal aliens to the Civil Rights Movement of black Americans. Writer Sally Kohn did so recently in her article, “The ‘i-word’ is un-American.”

The “i-word,” according to Kohn, is “illegal,” as in illegal alien. Using this term, she informs her readers, is the same as using a racial epithet to describe blacks, a practice not tolerated in America since the civil rights era. And, says Kohn, we should no longer tolerate the “i-word” either.

This comparison is absurd, to say the least. Illegal is not a race; it refers to unlawful behavior. It is not a malicious slur, but a factual description of a person’s standing before the law.

Illegal alien advocacy and the Civil Rights Movement have nothing in common in terms of fundamental principles. The Civil Rights Movement aimed to uphold the rights of citizens under the law. It affirmed the significance of law, in upholding impartial justice, as well as the crucial importance of citizenship. Participants in the movement claimed their rights under the law as citizens.

Illegal alien advocates, on the other hand, downplay the significance of law and citizenship. They proclaim that noncitizens who break our laws are entitled to the rights of citizens.

Because these advocates seem to have little regard for America’s laws and citizenship, it is not unreasonable to conclude that they think our country is insignificant too. And given such a viewpoint, it is hardly out of bounds to suggest that it is they who are “un-American” and even treasonous.

Certainly, the charge of treason is a harsh one, but if it offends the advocates of illegality, let them offer an explanation as to why it shouldn’t apply. As they promote the right of foreigners to violate our national sovereignty, the burden of proof is on them to prove their loyalty.

Along with claiming that the “i-word” is un-American, Kohn charges that people who use it have no “compassion” for the lawbreakers that she and others on her side manipulatively describe as “the undocumented.” The purpose of this semantic sleight-of-hand is to suggest that their lawbreaking isn’t the issue, but simply a lack of documents – as if their lack of legal papers somehow isn’t the consequence of illicit behavior.

In any case, Kohn shows no concern that her brand of “compassion” is now encouraging foreign youngsters to risk their lives and health by sneaking across our southern frontier. Nor does she acknowledge the American victims of illegal immigration, such as our disadvantaged citizens who have fewer job opportunities and lower wages thanks to inadequate enforcement of our immigration laws.

Subverting the rule of law is not compassion at all because it leads to chaos, a situation where humanitarian concerns fall by the wayside. Specifically, our country’s liberties and prosperity stem from our system of playing by the rules. Undermine that system, and oppression and poverty will diminish sympathy.

Kohn’s “compassion” is really feel-good moralism, tainted heavily with ideological bias. She suggests that border control advocates should have the civility not to use the “i-word.” Yet she utters no word about the defamations (bigots, haters, xenophobes, etc.) commonly hurled at border supporters. Her side offers little compassion or civility to them.

Kohn can say what she likes about the “i-word,” but she cannot deny that it is truthful and accurate. Citizens who care about our laws and country have not only the right to use it, but the duty to do so as well.

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