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An Alien By Any Other Name...

June 03, 2013 (1 min read)

"Referring to immigrants as “aliens,” when “alien” is commonly understood to be derogatory (whether because it means foreign, or strange, or brings images of extraterrestrial space creatures to mind), not only reflects immigrants’ place in American society, but in a very real way it enforces it.  And be honest, now: which of the following is closer to what comes to mind when you hear the term “illegal alien” or “undocumented alien”—a German graduate student who has overstayed her visa, or a Mexican laborer who has illegally crossed our southern border?  I think it’s a safe bet that, whatever your political persuasion, you were more likely to think of the Mexican." - Careen Shannon, June 3, 2013.