Home Page


Immigration Daily

Archives

Processing times

Immigration forms

Discussion board

Resources

Blogs

Twitter feed

Immigrant Nation

Attorney2Attorney

CLE Workshops

Immigration books

Advertise on ILW

VIP Network

EB-5

移民日报

About ILW.COM

Connect to us

Make us Homepage

Questions/Comments


SUBSCRIBE





The leading
immigration law
publisher - over
50000 pages of
free information!
Copyright
1995-
ILW.COM,
American
Immigration LLC.

  • Article: The Political Correctness Movement has succeeded in imposing its will on the Library of Congress. By Nolan Rappaport

    The Political Correctness Movement has succeeded in imposing its will on the Library of Congress

    by


    If you are having difficulty viewing this document please click here.

    Reprinted with permission.


    About The Author

    Nolan Rappaport was an immigration counsel on the House Judiciary Committee. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals. He also has been a policy advisor for the DHS Office of Information Sharing and Collaboration, and he has spent time in private practice doing visa petitions for the Catholic Church and international corporations at Steptoe & Johnson.


    The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

    Comments 5 Comments
    1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
      ImmigrationLawBlogs -
      Meanings of words change all the time. "illegal", "alien", or "illegal alien" may have started out at one time as neutral legal terms, even though this is by no means clear from the history of these terms (as in the early 19th century "Alien and Sedition Act", for example), but they are racial epithets now. That is the way these words are understood by the all white crowds at Donald Trump's rallies, and by Trump's white supremacist Tea Party predecessors. Whatever these words may once have meant, they are now commonly used an understood as hate speech, along with other anti-immigrant racial epithets which do not appear in our immigration laws, such as "anchor babies".

      Hate speech is protected by the Constitution to be sure. No one is proposing to outlaw it. But should it be embedded in the language of our immigration laws themselves? To use another example, there was a time when "colored", or"colored person" was regularly found in our laws. I am old enough to remember when it was considered neutral and non-offensive in ordinary speech. The NAACP is an example. Who would recommend using such a term in a statute in America today? (Maybe we will start to see it again in North Carolina, Alabama, or Mississippi before long).

      It is time to update America's immigration laws to eliminate clearly offensive or pejorative terminology. Nolan would call that "political correctness". I would call it tolerance and acceptance of diversity which is the essence of 21st Century America, despite the attempts of Donald Trump and his bigoted supporters to "Make America White Again".

      For those who feel that it is important to use a term making clear that a given immigrant is in this country without legal permission, there is a term that is already widely in existence but does not carry the connotations of hatred and racism (since most immigrants are non-white, which as Nolan knows full well, is the real reason that there is so much hatred of immigrants, regardless of legal status, among Donald's - and Ted's - followers). This term is "unauthorized immigrant". The meaning is the same as "illegal alien", but without the degrading, dehumanizing connotations which Nolan is trying so hard to defend for some reason that I cannot fathom.


      Roger Algase
      Attorney at Law
    1. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
      Nolan Rappaport -
      [QUOTE=ImmigrationLawBlogs;324819][SIZE=1] For those who feel that it is important to use a term making clear that a given immigrant is in this country without legal permission, there is a term that is already widely in existence but does not carry the connotations of hatred and racism (since most immigrants are non-white, which as Nolan knows full well, is the real reason that there is so much hatred of immigrants, regardless of legal status, among Donald's - and Ted's - followers). This term is "unauthorized immigrant". The meaning is the same as "illegal alien", but without the degrading, dehumanizing connotations which Nolan is trying so hard to defend for some reason that I cannot fathom. Roger Algae /QUOTE]

      Roger seems to have misunderstood my discussion of the term "undocumented immigrant," which applies equally to the term he is proposing, "unauthorized immigrant." I wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for more than 20 years and wrote a major immigration reform bill for Congressman John Conyers and another one for Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. I understand the need for precise, accurate terms when immigration policy issues are being addressed. Roger is taking a different approach. He wants to change the language being used in an Orwellian attempt to eliminate implications of illegality. To him, the difference between an alien who is deportable and one who is here lawfully is that the deportable alien lacks "authorization," which can be given on a blanket basis to unlimited numbers of aliens who are here in unlawful status. By that reasoning, I should be able to call myself a physician and practice medicine as an unauthorized doctor. From Roger's perspective, the only difference between me and someone who actually is a physician is the lack of a proper certification document. I can bring this attitude out into the light with a single question, Roger, if all of the aliens who are here illegally now are legalized, will you support deporting all of the aliens who come here after the cutoff date for the legalization program?
    1. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
      Nolan Rappaport -
      [QUOTE=Nolan Rappaport;324821]
      Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs View Post
      [SIZE=1] Roger, if all of the aliens who are here illegally now are legalized, will you support deporting all of the aliens who come here after the cutoff date for the legalization program?
      I meant to say all of the aliens who come here "illegally" after the cutoff date. No one but Donald Trump is talking about deporting the 11 million undocumented aliens who are here already. The battle generally speaking is over deporting the aliens who come illegally after the ones already here are legalized. I do not see a significant chance that the republicans will cooperate in the passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill until the democrats agree to deport aliens who come here illegally after the cutoff date to the legalization program that needs to be part of such a bill. If you want to know why, see my article about the last legalization program, which was enacted 30 years ago. "What is IRCA, and What Does It Have To Do with Comprehensive Immigration Reform?" (Feb. 8, 2013), http://www.lexisnexis.com/legalnewsr...on-reform.aspx
    1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
      ImmigrationLawBlogs -
      First, I have not commented at all on the term "undocumented immigrant". I think that is a misleading term and I have never used it myself or recommended using it. To that extent, I believe that I am in agreement with Nolan. As for "illegal alien", I am not opposed to using a term that makes clear that a given non-US citizen is in this country in violation of law. But there are plenty of ways of doing this without using a racially charged epithet such as "illegal alien" and then trying to pretend that this term has no racial connotations, but is just a neutral legal term. Nolan is far too sophisticated and knowledgeable to believe that seriously.

      I note that in a May, 2009 memorandum dealing with "unlawful presence", which is a legal term of art that was first introduced by the 1996 IIRIRA, and such a complex one at that that it took 51 pages to explain what it means, a top USCIS official, Donald Neufeld, refers to non-citizens who are in the US in violation of law as "unlawful immigrants". This shows that USCIS is moving away from the racially charged, pejorative term "illegal alien". No one can argue that "unlawful immigrant" is any less precise, any less accurate than "illegal alien".

      The only thing lacking is the hate. This is why, again with all due respect to a distinguished legal scholar such as Nolan, who ought to know better, trying to make excuses for using "illegal alien" on the grounds that there is no equally precise, but less offensive, alternative is indefensible.

      Roger Algase
      Attorney at Law
    1. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
      Nolan Rappaport -
      Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs View Post
      with all due respect to a distinguished legal scholar such as Nolan, who ought to know better, trying to make excuses for using "illegal alien" on the grounds that there is no equally precise, but less offensive, alternative is indefensible. Roger Algasse Attorney at Law
      I don't recall using the term "illegal alien" myself in the article or arguing that it should be used. My article is about the Orwellian way that political correctness is being used to create the impression that being here illegally is just a matter of not having the proper documents yet. This leads to portraying legalization as nothing more than a way to give them the document they need. No attention is paid to the fact that the people who don't have the proper document yet are here in violation of our laws, and whether you want to acknowledge it or not, some of them are criminals or are ineligible for legalization on some other basis.

      Thought control is bad enough, but this campaign goes further and makes ad hominem attacks on people who don't use the "correct" language, calling them haters, bigots, anti-immigrants, and so on. They are even comparing Trump to Adolph Hitler. This is a frightening attack on our country's democracy. We will lose our way of life and not be a free country anymore if the political correctness advocates manage to suppress free speech by restricting the words people can use. What benefit is the right to free speech if the political correctness police decide what words you can use. I really don't understand why Roger can't see this.
Put Free Immigration Law Headlines On Your Website

Immigration Daily: the news source for legal professionals. Free! Join 35000+ readers Enter your email address here: