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Posts Tagged ‘Illegal immigrants’

Immigration Debate: The Problem With the Word “Illegal”

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 24, 2012

It’s inflammatory, imprecise, and most of all, inaccurate. So why does everyone — from Chuck Schumer to Mitt Romney — use it?
image: Young people wait in line to enter the office of The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeleson the first day of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Aug. 15, 2012.

What part of ‘illegal’ don’t you understand?”

Add that to the list of questions I am repeatedly asked since publicly disclosing my undocumented immigrant status in the summer of 2011. Calling undocumented people “illegal immigrants” — or worse, “illegal aliens,” asMitt Romney did in front of a largely Latino audience last week — has become such standard practice for politicians and the media, from Bill O’Reilly to the New York Times, that people of all political persuasions do not think twice about doing it, too.

(MOREFor Romney, Fundraising Comes First)

But describing an immigrant as “illegal” is legally inaccurate. Being in the country without proper documents is a civil offense, not a criminal one. (Underscoring this reality, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority opinion on SB 1070, Arizona’s controversial immigration law: “As a general rule, it is not a crime for a movable alien to remain in the United States.”) In a country that believes in due process of the law, calling an immigrant “illegal” is akin to calling a defendant awaiting trial a “criminal.”  The term “illegal” is also imprecise. For many undocumented people — there are 11 million in the U.S. and most have immediate family members who are American citizens, either by birth or naturalization — their immigration status is fluid and, depending on individual circumstances, can be adjusted. Read the rest of this entry »

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EU plans drone network to nab illegal immigrants

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 27, 2012

Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier

Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier

The European Commission had released a proposal to deploy drones across the Mediterranean Sea to catch illegal immigrants. The surveillance effort is part of a $410 million package to bolster EU border security.

Dubbed EUROSUR, the project proposes the use of drones, high-resolution cameras, satellites and spy planes to detect migrant vessels at sea.

EUROSUR’s stated aim is to reduce the number of migrants reaching the Schengen area undetected, preventing cross-border crime and reducing immigrant fatalities. The project has yet to be officially debated in the European Parliament and Council, but some proponents of the project are pushing for it to be implemented as early as next year.

One to three million people immigrate to EU annually, and last year’s uprisings in North Africa increased the flow of immigrants to EU, with thousands attempting to cross the region’s borders. The Mediterranean is one of the central hubs for illegal immigration: Europa Press reported that 1,037 migrants on board 44 boats have been detected arriving on the Andalusian coast from 1 January 2012 to 9 July 2012 alone. With this influx in immigration, death rates have also spiked. Read the rest of this entry »

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