What is an ‘im­mi­grant’?

The Tribune (SLO) - - Opinion -

Both “il­le­gal im­mi­grant” and “un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grant” are con­flicted phrases and have no place in any se­ri­ous dis­cus­sion about im­mi­gra­tion. An “im­mi­grant” has long been de­fined in U.S. law and the IRS tax code as some­one who has al­ready been granted le­gal per­ma­nent res­i­dency in the United States. So by def­i­ni­tion, an im­mi­grant can nei­ther be “il­le­gal” nor “un­doc­u­mented.”

The legally cor­rect terms are ei­ther “alien” or “mi­grant” when re­fer­ring to a per­son who hopes to be granted le­gal per­ma­nent res­i­dency in the U.S., i.e. wishes to be­come an im­mi­grant some day. Us­ing pre­cise lan­guage is one of the nec­es­sary first steps in ad­dress­ing im­mi­gra­tion is­sues suc­cess­fully. – Ron Work­man, Pismo Beach – Ja­nis Scott, Ar­royo Grande

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