Use of the Term 'Illegal Alien'
Sage Publications, 2012
9 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2013
Date Written: April 4, 2013
This essay examines the use of the terms “alien,” “illegal,” and “illegal alien.” It will show that use of the term “illegal alien” is problematic because it is subject to many definitions that are often inaccurate. Moreover, even if there is agreement on the scope of the phrase “illegal alien,” the term cannot be fully understood without studying the individual characteristics of those defined by this term as well as the role of the government in sustaining an outdated immigration structure that creates illegal immigration an inevitability. Finally, this essay will show that the term “illegal alien” is dehumanizing because it modifies not just a single action but also the entire person.
JEL Classification: N/A
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation