It’s just not a substantive issue, and I will tell you why.
Before I wonk
out, though, I gotta say this: It is wrongheaded and thoughtless, and,
yea, sometimes racist and hateful, to call men, women and children
“illegal immigrants.” Anglo journalists use the term all the time, because it
is acceptable usage in the Associated Press
Stylebook. The good people at AP are unaware that calling people
“illegal immigrants” hurts and outrages millions of undocumented
immigrants and millions of others who care about them. The AP is also evidently
not aware that Latino journos have long suggested the term
“undocumented immigrant” be used instead. “Terms such as illegal alien or
illegal immigrant can often be used pejoratively in common parlance and can
pack a powerful emotional wallop for those on the receiving end,” the National Association of Hispanic
Journalists advised in
2006. The word “undocumented” takes the sting out, is more neutral. The
word “illegal” automatically criminalizes and separates 12 million people
now living in
Elie Wiesel, the Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor, once said “no human being is illegal.” He had a reason for saying this, he believed calling people “illegal” was the first of many steps that led to the Holocaust.
And he ought to know.
This said, guess what I’m calling my book, to be published by Globe Pequot Press in 2010?
That’s right. It will be so titled because the book tells
true stories of hate, violence, and marginalization in the lives of
undocumented people hunkering down in Ground Zero for the immigration brawl, my
back to healthcare…while reporting the book I learned that half
of the nation’s 12 million undocumented people are already insured. The
other uninsured half, about 6 million people, only cost the nation one half of
one percentage point of our total healthcare expenditures. I learned this from Paul Fronstin,
director of health research at Employee
Benefit Research Institute in W
Ok, so to sum up.
1. Half of our undocumented population already has
insurance. The other half sucks up a whole one-half of one percentage point of
the entire healthcare cost of the
2. Calling people “illegal immigrants” is wrong. Just stop.
Originally appeared in “White Woman in the Barrio”