5th Circuit Ruling Endorses Term “Illegal Alien”

If you read coverage of illegal immigration anywhere in the mainstream media, the term “illegal alien” is never mentioned.  In fact, they have created an entire vocabulary to conceal illegal aliens under benign terms like undocumented workers.

This propaganda campaign by the mainstream media was thrown for a loop by yesterday’s ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

In a footnote to their decision rejecting President Obama’s attempt to impose amnesty for illegals, the court sketched out the appropriate term for these so-called “undocumented workers”: Illegal aliens.

There is some confusion―not necessarily in this case but generally―regarding the proper term for non-citizens who are in the United States unlawfully. The leading legal lexicographer offers the following compelling explanation:


The usual and preferable term in [American English] is illegal alien. The other forms have arisen as needless euphemisms, and should be avoided as near gobbledygook.


The problem with undocumented is that it is intended to mean, by those who use it in this phrase, “not having the requisite documents to enter or stay in a country legally.” But the word strongly suggests “unaccounted for” to those unfamiliar with this quasi-legal jargon, and it may therefore obscure the meaning. More than one writer has argued in favor of undocumented alien . . . [to] avoid[ ] the implication that one’s unauthorized presence in the United States is a crime . . . . But that statement is only equivocally correct: although illegal aliens’ presence in the country is no crime, their entry into the country is. . . . Moreover, it is wrong to equate illegality with criminality, since many illegal acts are not criminal. Illegal alien is not an opprobrious epithet: it describes one present in a country in violation of the immigration laws (hence “illegal”).


BRYAN A. GARNER, GARNER’S DICTIONARY OF LEGAL USAGE 912 (Oxford 3d ed. 2011) (citations omitted).

So, yes the preferred mainstream media euphemisms for illegal aliens are officially “gobbledygook.”