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Who is an Undocumented Immigrant?
What's in a name? The name of something or someone identifies who he or she is. It is how the society communicates and distinguish one from another.
It is in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, that God instructed Adam to name all the animals and creatures of his creation.
A name is most important. In this political charged environment, someone decided to change the term illegal alien to undocumented immigrants.
It is a myth that some people in our society are "undocumented". There is no such thing. Everyone has some form of documents. You cannot exist, or function or work or travel without some form of identification. What is true is that some people have false documents. They include false Social Security numbers, false passports, false driver IDs and false green cards.
Where did this undocumented notion come from? It was proposed by the Center for Racial Justice in 2010. They felt it was degrading to label a person as "illegal" and offered the undocument immigrant as a more politically correct terminology.
It may have made some felt good about themselves but it did nothing for the people affected.
Some Immigrants actually have legal documents
There are some sanctuary cities that offer legitimate ID cards to illegal immigrants. There are over 32 cities around the US that have a basic policy of protecting illegal immigrants from ICE and will prevent the holding of these individuals for deportation hearings by the Department of Homeland Security and the Imigration and Custom Enforcement. Their logic is that this policy will encourage illegals to come forward and report crimes.
The other important aspects is identifying people who drives on our roads. The logic is sound where we want illegals to be able to register their cars and obtain insurance. Alternatively, you will end up with people driving without proper insurance or inspections and may cause damages in accidents and where there is little legal recourse.
A Better and More Descriptive Term
Let me propose a new term. "Uninvited Guests" instead of undocumented Immigrants.
This term is very clear about who we are dealing with and it does not have the negative connotation of "illegal" or "alien".
The word Uninvited is absolutely accurate. We did not invite these people to come here. They came here on their own initaitive and with great danger and expense. I do not fault anyone who wants to improve their financial situation and feed their families. I would probably do the same if I was in their shoes.
The word Guest is also appropriate. It implies that they are here on our compassion and generosity as the host nation. They are here on a temporary basis as most guests eventually return to their home country. A guest is offered many hospitalities, but again they are at the discretion of the host. A guest also treats his host with great respect. They should not and would not protest or rally or denigrade the country they seek residence.
Putting the two words together has the final meaning of someone who comes here uninvited expecting only some charity and compassion. They should be grateful for this opportunity to work, and make a living and be able to send money back home to help their families.
It is estimated that we have between 12 million and 20 million Uninvited Guests here in America. No one knows the exact number. In fact, the census bureau go out of their way to not count them.
Is this how a Guest should behave?
Names have meaning. When dealing with many issues, it is often helpful if we identify the names correctly. The immigration issue is front and center in our political arena today. It is a very complex issue as most people understand. That is why we must separate the groups by identifying them correctly. We have a few groups of immigrants. There is legal immigrants that are here through proper channels. They have green cards. There are political asylum group that are here because of persecution by their home country. There are the last group of immigrants which are uninvited guests. I propose we give them a valid ID so that we know who they are and also have an accurate accounting of how many there are. This will go a long way to resolving the long term issue. Perhaps they will become the first group, or perhaps they can be part of a new group of "guest workers" as many in European nations have. The first step is to bring them out of the shadows and get rid of this false notion of undocumented or false documented.
The current two tier system of immigrants is un sustainable and I believe unConstitutional. We cannot have a large segment of population that live in fear and stay in the shadows and possibly being exploited.
Some Related Info
- How to Settle the Immigration Debate?
A simple "what if" exercise to help settle the debate on immigration.
- Sanctuary city - Wikipedia
- Drop the I-Word Campaign | Race Forward
We launched the Drop the I-Word campaign in September 2010 to eliminate use of the dehumanizing slur “illegal” to describe immigrants. By Spring 2013, the Associated Press, USA Today, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and many other news outlets dro