In contrast, below is an intellectual explanation, about the words that are used in the current immigration debate, from Margaret Sands Orchowski, Ph.D.
In The Politics of Immigration Reform, she writes, "To be in the country illegally is a misdemeanor; to overstay one's visa is a civil offense; but to use a false identity document to secure employment or publicly funded benefits is a felony, and illegal immigrants are not exempt. Many illegal immigrants who work unlawfully in the United States do so by using false social security cards, driver's licenses, or green cards, which raises their acts to felony offenses, making them highly deportable."
Regarding the term 'undocumented': "it is disingenous and dangerous for immigrant advocates and Democratic civil Libertarians to encourage illegal immigrants to think it is acceptable to commit a felony, just because the term sounds nicer and is more politically correct than the word 'illegal.' Catholic immigrant advocates often say that 'no person is illegal,' but, of course, that's disingenous spin. The term 'illegal immigrant' refers only to a person's immigration status."
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