Political correctness and illegal immigration

To the editor:

On your Friday commentary page, you had two college professors – Patricia Vazquez of the College of Southern Nevada and Fatma Marouf of UNLV’s Boyd School of Law – parsing the term illegal immigration (“No human being is ‘illegal’ “). Both writers tried to compare illegal immigrants to drivers.

Well, yes, if someone is driving without a license, he is an illegal driver. “Illegal” means doing what is contrary to the law. And, yes, people who speed are, by definition, driving illegally and are, therefore, illegal drivers.

Do these professors and their fellow travelers really believe that by not using the plain meaning of the words “illegal immigrant” (whether they came here without permission or overstayed their visa), it will somehow change their status or soften their offense?

Please spare us the unending attempts to alter facts to fit your PC outlook on the world.

Dave Downer


To the editor:

I noticed that in your Monday front-page photo caption, Garcia Vicente is called an “undocumented immigrant.” Apparently, that’s to comply with the desires expressed by local professors Patricia Vazquez and Fatma Marouf in their Friday commentaries arguing against using the term “illegal immigrant.”

If I remember correctly, someone once said “words have meanings,” and one should look to the meaning to determine what the person is saying. What if we agree with Ms. Vazquez and Ms. Marouf and apply their logic to other situations?

If you come home and find three people in your living room eating your snacks and watching your TV, are they now just “uninvited guests” and legally entitled to the bedroom and your car? Or perhaps someone walks into the passenger line at an airport and, with no ticket or boarding pass, demands passage. Is he just an “unticketed passenger”?

Will the Nevada Revised Statues be changed to eliminate any reference to “illegal” acts completely? We’d like to know.

William Boyd


To the editor:

I’d like to address the “illegal” vs. “undocumented” argument being waged on behalf of the illegal aliens in our country in order to be politically correct.

First, according to my dictionary, “illegal” means: not legal; contrary to existing statutes; unauthorized. Not once does it say “illegal” means “undocumented.”

Using the same reasoning put forth by Patricia Vazquez and Fatma Marouf in Friday’s Review-Journal, because some “illegal drugs” may one day be legal and “documentation” may some day be forthcoming from the FDA allowing their possession and use, we shouldn’t prosecute those breaking the drug laws today.

If you break the law, no matter who you are, you have committed an illegal act – hence the term “illegal alien,” which signifies that you have broken the laws of our country by not being here legally. You will continue to be considered an “illegal alien” unless and until the law is revoked or changed, making you legal.

I’d like to know what an “illegal alien” in other countries is called. My guess is “inmate” or “deportee.”

Kathleen M. Stone


To the editor:

In response to the Friday commentaries by Patricia Vazquez and Fatma Marouf, “No human being is ‘illegal’ “:

Ms. Vazquez states, “Using ‘illegal’ is legally inaccurate … .” Ms. Marouf states that the word “illegal” is “a term devoid of legal meaning and should be abandoned.” I would beg to differ, and I offer the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s website, where it says:

“Permanent Resident Alien – An alien admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident. Permanent residents are also commonly referred to as immigrants; however, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) broadly defines an immigrant as any alien in the United States, except one legally admitted under specific nonimmigrant categories (INA section 101(a)(15)). An illegal alien who entered the United States without inspection, for example, would be strictly defined as an immigrant under the INA but is not a permanent resident alien. Lawful permanent residents are legally accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States.”

So instead of illegal immigrant, I believe a better term to describe a person who is in this country in violation of immigration laws would be “illegal alien.”

It is really just a matter of semantics. No matter how some of our college professors try to twist the meaning or to skew the discussion away from the facts, immigration involves a lawful process of becoming a citizen – which is the opposite of what’s happening with those who are in this country unlawfully and are trying to hijack the legal process.

Doug Farmer

Las Vegas

To the editor:

An illegal immigrant is one who enters a country illegally. The term “undocumented worker” makes it sound as if a person is simply awaiting the proper paperwork. Most, however, have not even applied for that paperwork.

This debate is just another way of whitewashing the truth.

Vicky De Leo


To the editor:

I strongly disagree with the “No human being is ‘illegal’ ” commentaries by Patricia Vazquez and Fatma Marouf. They may find the term “illegal” dehumanizing, but my Webster’s dictionary defines “illegal” as “contrary to law” as in “an illegal immigrant.”

There is a proper way for foreigners to enter the United States, whether to visit or to seek work. Those who decide to break the law and come here illegally are “illegals.”

The worst part is – unlike our ancestors, who wanted to become Americans – many of the illegals living here today are here only to grab as many dollars as they can, sending the money back home so that when they do get caught, they’ll have a nice bank account to retire on. They have no desire to learn English. Instead they ask that we provide everything in Spanish to accommodate them. The burden of educating their children and covering unpaid medical expenses – along with welfare, food stamps, etc. – is straining our economy.

You may call them “undocumented” if you feel that’s politically correct, but the fact is that they are “illegal immigrants” who broke the law and should be deported and sent to the back of the line.

Kevin Dugan

Las Vegas

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