Attorney Suggests ‘Unauthorized Immigrant’ as Alternative to ‘Illegal’


Writing in the Texas Tribune, veteran immigration attorney Dan Kowalski argues that the media should stop using the term “illegal immigrant.” He suggests the word “unauthorized” as an alternative. He writes, “The adjective ‘illegal’ generates pejorative, negative reactions in the listener or reader.

He continues, “Let’s apply a little nuance and ask ourselves: Are the frail asylum-seekers fleeing political oppression in their home countries just as much illegal aliens as the tough guys who have been deported three times for violent criminal convictions? How about the Japanese business executive who overstays his visitor’s visa by one day?” He suggests that the use of unauthorized would be a helpful rather than harmful alternative.

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