Editor's Note: Is the term "illegal immigrant" a slur? Last year New America Media asked the media serving U.S. immigrant communities what term they use to describe undocumented immigrants: How Do Ethnic Media Say 'Illegal Immigrant'? Now the question is sparking a debate in mainstream media.
Last week Charles García wrote a CNN opinion piece, “Why 'Illegal Immigrant' Is a Slur.” Columnist Ruben Navarrette responded with a CNN opinion piece titled, "'Illegal Immigrant' Is the Uncomfortable Truth."
In the following open letter to Ruben Navarrette, law school student and Dream Activist leader Prerna Lal, whose own immigration status is in limbo, argues that the term "illegal immigrant" doesn't accurately describe the fluidity of immigration status.
I enjoy your writing, probably more than most people. You hold President Obama accountable for his abhorrent immigration policies. You stick it to the Republicans for hating on immigrants because their hate has to do with the color of our skin. And you generally make a lot of sense.
But you are wrong when you say that “illegal immigrant” is the correct lexicon to use for people without proper immigration status because the shoe fits. The uncomfortable truth is not that “illegal immigrant” fits but that painting a wide range of complex immigration statuses with the broad brush of “illegal” is all too convenient, lazy and just plain wrong.
Honestly, I don’t know anyone who enjoys breaking the law. Some people immigrate here legally because they have the privilege of doing so while many others have to use improper channels to come here so that they can provide safety and refuge for their loved ones, or pursue their dreams in the land of opportunity. Many people eventually adjust their status and become legal residents, disproving the notion that being without proper immigration status
ACE/CCS continues holiday tradition
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Fast urges Congress to end moral crisis
As communities across the country continue to escalate their campaign for commonsense immigration reform and pressure leadership in the House of Representatives, faith, immigrant rights and labor leaders launched their “Fast for Families: A Call for Immigration Reform and Citizenship” on ...
José Martínez wins prestigious educator award
In a surprise announcement at an all-school assembly, Colorado’s Bear Creek High School social studies teacher José Martínez was presented this week with a $25,000 check from the Milken Family Foundation in recognition of his exceptional work as a model teacher for the state and nation.
Katherine Archuleta: First Latina director of OPM
Katherine Archuleta was sworn-in as the 10th Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and will serve as the Federal government’s personnel chief. Archuleta was confirmed by the U.S. Senate with strong bipartisan support in a 62–36 vote.
She will be the first Latina to hold this ...