- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 29, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A Princeton professor of African American studies, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, said in a tweet about the caravan at America’s borders that the White House ought to “open the border” and “let them all in.”

After all, “No human being is illegal,” Taylor went on, Campus Reform noted.

This is the globalized view of things; this is not a sovereign America way of thinking.

It’s the type of messaging the United Nations prefers — or the pope.

Look at this, from the nonprofit PICUM, the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants, in its “Words Matter” online section: “Calling a certain group of people ‘illegal’ denies them their humanity. There is no such thing as an ‘illegal’ person. … The term ‘illegal migrant’ should never be used because it implies criminality. A person can never be illegal. Migration is not a crime. It is discriminatory. Illegality as a status is only applied to migrants and used to deny them their rights. It has real impacts on policy and public perception. Inaccurate language leads society to accept that people should be prosecuted and punished.”

Those who control the language control the policy, right?

The outright denial of the proper definition of illegal has helped turn the border war from one of law and order to wishy-washy social justice.

Migrants who want to storm across the border without going through the proper channels are called illegal because they’re breaking laws. Put an asterisk by the word “illegal,” though, and suddenly what was once a black-and-white issue — either individuals enter America through legal channels or they don’t — becomes a matter of interpretation, an item of debate and discussion, a lesson for philosophy not law that endlessly circles around questions like, “What does it mean to be human, after all?”

We don’t do that for other crimes and criminals.

We don’t, for instance, debate what it means to be a thief. We don’t differentiate in word definition for thievery that’s rooted in, say, hunger versus greed — that results in the shoplifting of a loaf of bread versus the looting of a television. Oh, the criminal system may regard one type of theft with more leniency than another type of theft. But insofar as calling a thief a thief, and a theft a theft, we stick to basic definitions.

Stolen goods are not undocumented items.

The left has been particularly clever at using word play to shift policy discussions. It’s their particular style of fantasy thinking; apparently, liberals truly believe that if they say something enough, it will become fact, no matter how contrary to fact it really is. Repeat and the truth is rinsed.

But let’s remember: America is a sovereign nation with real borders — no matter what the Ivy League set try to sell.

Migrants who come here legally are legal immigrants. Those who don’t — those who sneak across, or storm across, or fight their way across by pelting border agents with rocks — are illegal, pure and simple.

Calling illegals illegals doesn’t degrade their humanity. It correctly labels their actions and properly calls them out for the law-breakers they are — for the law-breaking activities in which they’re engaging.

Remember, words matter. Simply put, they’re the building blocks for the culture war we’re all fighting. 

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.


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