University of Maryland Campaign Asks Students To Use “Undocumented Citizens” Rather Than “Illegal Aliens”

200px-University_of_Maryland_Seal.svgThe University of Maryland has launched a campaign educating students and faculty about how to refer to people and asking them to “think before you speak” to avoid insulting others. One of the lexicon lessons has caused a controversy. The campaign by UMD’s Multicultural Involvement and Community Advocacy office tells people not to use terms like “illegal alien” but rather “undocumented citizens.”

While “illegal alien” is a term that is used in legal materials and judicial opinions, it has been denounced as insulting. For that reason, many have switched to “undocumented immigrant” which the Maryland posters say is fine. However, it is the other suggested choice of “undocumented citizen” that has struck many as odd since the terms is an oxymoron. A citizen by defined is both legal and documented. It would suggest that people here unlawfully can nonetheless be “citizens”.

The State Department states “U.S. citizenship may be acquired either at birth or through naturalization subsequent to birth.”

The school’s “Inclusive Language Campaign” may be too inclusive from a legal standpoint in grouping undocumented persons into the same category as citizens.

Nicole Mehta, the program director of UMD’s Common Ground Multicultural Dialogue Program, however insisted that “undocumented citizen” was selected carefully and after a survey of students: “The use of ‘undocumented citizen’ (along with other terms such as undocumented individuals, immigrants, etc.) seeks to avoid dehumanization of an entire group of individuals.” I can understand the motivation, it is the foundation for the term that is inexplicable. “Citizen” is a legal term of art. It is a status defined by certain conditions. While it may make some feel more included, it is a fictional status and undermines serious discussion of the status of undocumented people in this country.

What do you think?

77 thoughts on “University of Maryland Campaign Asks Students To Use “Undocumented Citizens” Rather Than “Illegal Aliens””

  1. Vince, If you can take any solace, horseshit like this happens hundreds of times every year on the vast majority of campuses.

  2. As a parent who has paid a lot of tuition money into education institutions in general and into the University of Maryland system in particular, I am able to speak on why college is so expensive: the inbred universities hire simpletons (a proven result of inbreeding) to do tasks which are either non-essential to the educational process at best or geared to transforming malliable student brains into mush at worst.

    There is no greater example of featherbedding than in the American university system. If the nation wants to reduce student debt and/or make college more affordable, have the universities focus on their educational mission and cut out the unnecessary overhead. Teach subjects that will enable students to get well paying jobs. Awarding three credits for passing a course entitled “The Banana in Contemporary Society” will not impress employers, not even at United Fruit. Reduce administrative positions. The Dean of Student Flatulence does not merit a six figure income. I am sure a graduate student can fulfill the duties at a fraction of the cost. Most important, teach the students how to think and they will be able to decide for themselves what words to use.

  3. I fail to see how illegal aliens are treated like second class people. Here in CA, politicians pander to them to get votes. Every single government document is available in Spanish, and illegal aliens can now get drivers licenses, scholarships, Obamacare, free daycare, and many other government benefits. Law enforcement is prohibited from reporting them to ICE. There are sanctuary cities. Cities guarantee illegal aliens the right to hang out on designated corners to get day labor jobs.

    Many industries are saturated with illegal aliens undercutting those businesses who follow our CA laws. Voters pay for higher taxes, higher minimum wage, more regulations, etc. But when it comes time for people to pay out of their own pocket, many preferentially hire the lowest bidder, the illegal aliens. They’ll vote for other people to spend more money but are unwilling to do so themselves.

  4. Steve:

    “As to your last comment above, lots of people break laws every day, but there’s an attitude of disrespect far greater for the undocumented who’ve done nothing wrong other than being present here in contrast to every other lawbreaker.”

    Based on what? I, for example, despise pedophiles, rapists, murderers, and bank robbers more than illegal aliens who engage in no other crimes. I think you may be referring to the general disdain for illegal aliens as line cutters, unwilling to put in the effort to follow our rules.

    1. Karen writes, “Steve: ‘As to your last comment above, lots of people break laws every day, but there’s an attitude of disrespect far greater for the undocumented who’ve done nothing wrong other than being present here in contrast to every other lawbreaker.’

      “Based on what? I, for example, despise pedophiles, rapists, murderers, and bank robbers more than illegal aliens who engage in no other crimes. I think you may be referring to the general disdain for illegal aliens as line cutters, unwilling to put in the effort to follow our rules.”

      Undocumented latinos here in San Diego, in my humble opinion, view being here as a business and security decision, not as a crime, and trust me when I say I know lots of them professionally and personally. (For instance, I pick up bakery each and every morning at 6:00AM from a shop at which many of the employees speak little English and travel at least two hours in the early hours of the morning across the border each and every day to work.)

      Just as Ma Kettle driving in a Safeway grocery lot might ding another’s car and determine the risk of leaving the scene is worth the punishment if caught, Latinos have taken a risk, too, but they don’t view the harm as even that of a dent in someone’s car. Add to that the reason they’re here: employers want them.

      But the savagery against Latinos is entirely different from that of other comparable crimes. And when it comes to the soc-called anchor children of the undocumented who were born and raised here, I find the push to have them and their parents leave particularly difficult to justify, although I recognize that to do nothing further encourages the problem.

      In my view, humanity may be more important than political whim, the money that feeds it, and the law which results.

  5. Steveg:

    “In answer to your first question, we should refrain from humiliating a human being for being here when they’re not supposed to be because we have standards of decency in a civilized society. They’re still human beings, and far away the majority of the undocumented are here because they have nothing to lose running away from the disaster in their own countries. In Mexico, and in Central and South America, much of that is our doing. I have a hard time with the immigration problem, too, but like everywhere else in the world we treat these people as though we’re their masters, without respect.”

    I disagree. It is neither humiliating nor rude to call a non violent criminal what they are – a criminal. What they did was illegal.

    There are plenty of people who break the law for what they feel are altruistic reasons. The guy who steals his finance’s engagement ring. The one who starts selling drugs so he can pay the rent easier. It’s not considered rude or wrong in any way to label their activities illegal.

    Plenty of poor people immigrate here legally every single day. It defies credulity that it is somehow wrong or rude or racist or bigoted to expect Mexicans to follow the law like everyone else. For some reason, the meme has persisted that merely because they originate in neighboring countries, it is completely racist for us to expect them to follow the same laws as everyone else.

    Look, if a country has no enforceable border, it is a region, not a country. Every single country, bar none, has immigration rules and requirements. In fact, those in the most socialist countries have the strictest immigration requirements. And if you break the law, as in any other law, there are consequences. We have both qualitative and quantitative requirements for immigration. We require a criminal background check, for example, and a health screening. Circumventing such laws has allowed Third World diseases like antibiotic resistant TB (mortality 50% with treatment) and leprosy, to take root in our own country. We also get sex slavers, human traffickers, drug cartels, kidnappers, murderers, and all manner of scum interspersed with good, hardworking people who just want a better life. Now let’s talk about the quantitative requirements. We have a finite amount of land and resources to support our population. Import too many, and our social services will collapse, along with health services, and there won’t be enough jobs to go around. For example, you do not exponentially increase importing entry level job seekers when we have a 26% unemployment rate among entry level job seekers here in the US. That should make sense to everyone. As another example, if all 5 billion people immigrated here who want to, this year, our economy and social services would collapse. The reality is that the majority of people in Third World countries would rather live in the US. So, clearly, there is an ideal figure at which we can absorb immigrants. Allowing people to come here illegally, circumvents the system and denies us our right, as a nation, to decide whom we want to let in and how many.

    Why should Mexicans get all the spots open, rather than Bangladesh, just because they have less distance to travel? How is that fair to everyone else who wants to come? How is this fair for those who went to all the trouble going through the system?

    So we must require and demand that immigrants go through the system to weed out the criminals, screen everyone for disease, and then we must ensure that the flow occurs at a rate we can easily absorb.

    I would rather focus our efforts on making it extremely difficult to come here, and work, illegally, and streaming the system to do so legally. But I do not want open borders or unlimited legal immigration. We would fill the country up immediately if everyone who wants to come here was granted instant access. I recall too clearly my classes on population growth and the environment to ignore what would happen if we crowded the US so that there was no more open space or farmland.

  6. Good one Nick. Nice to see you still haven’t lost your sense of hyperbole. You might need to go lie down before you faint.

  7. LOL! PC is an infringement on free speech. Free speech is part of the 1st Amendment. This isn’t just some wacky liberal fad, this is a liberal/fascist assault on the Constitution. For every example JT posts, there are hundreds of examples he doesn’t post. There is a website http://www.theFire.org that documents assaults on the Constitution coming exclusively from colleges and universities. JT is a liberal libertarian. You may be a liberal/fascists if you think these posts frivolous.

    1. olly writes, “Steve,
      Why should we refrain from humiliating someone who violates our laws? If someone were to break into your house and are caught by the police, would you care how humiliating it was for them to be perp-walked to the squad car?

      Whatever motives people have for getting into and living in this country illegally, they are violating our laws and therefore illegal. . . .”

      In answer to your first question, we should refrain from humiliating a human being for being here when they’re not supposed to be because we have standards of decency in a civilized society. They’re still human beings, and far away the majority of the undocumented are here because they have nothing to lose running away from the disaster in their own countries. In Mexico, and in Central and South America, much of that is our doing. I have a hard time with the immigration problem, too, but like everywhere else in the world we treat these people as though we’re their masters, without respect. Perhaps were we to leave their native countries to themselves, they wouldn’t be coming across our borders?

      I have a particular appreciation of those who graduate from college with some sort of respect for their fellow man, no matter their stripe. While college certainly isn’t the only means to an end, learning sensibilities is a distinct advantage of having had contemplative time in school. So, as long as university’s speech code is precatory rather than mandatory, I have no problem with it if its goal is to have students respect for others along with their political differences.

      As to your second question, you’re stereotyping, aren’t you? The demagogues have found the scapegoat.

      As to your last comment above, lots of people break laws every day, but there’s an attitude of disrespect far greater for the undocumented who’ve done nothing wrong other than being present here in contrast to every other lawbreaker. In fact, we give the undocumented more attention than we give crimes against humanity that our own government has committed with regularity over the past decade, let alone through embargos. We’ve got a bloated military-industrial complex that sucks far more money from our system than do the undocumented, and the MIC clearly isn’t here to protect us. It’s to protect the 1% who drive our government. Perhaps some of the angst should be focused there? Where’s the outrage?

      R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

      1. OK, I am ready to compromise.

        Lets just call them un-citizens. I think that covers it.

  8. Oh by all means I agree it’s ridiculous and I think by now we ALL get that the PC pendulum has swung WAY too far over the line. So why keep posting example after example? I surmise it’s just to feed the fans. There are so many other interesting things happening, like the professor at Wheaton who just got suspended for blasphemy, or the RWNJ coward terrorists who are threatening and beating up random Muslim Americans for absolutely no reason, or the Trump supporters shouting Sieg Heil at his rallies. You know, a little change of pace.

  9. Tell the truth professor: you’re just posting this petty nonsense to see how riled up you can make the fringers who come here, right? Trying to make RWNJ heads explode?

    There has to be a better way to entertain yourself.

    1. phillyT – actually it is to show examples of how unhinged SJW have become.

    2. “Tell the truth professor: you’re just posting this petty nonsense to see how riled up you can make the fringers who come here, right?”

      Can’t think of a thing to say to support their absurdities so, of course, beat up poor Turley!

      At least we agree that it is nonsense. Petty? I am not so sure. If you have not noticed some of this nonsense is actually working its way through and being used to pressure people to change their behavior. That is not petty in my opinion.

  10. It is for reasons including this that Latin continues to be the standard in scientific taxonomy, medicine, and legal definition.

    Changing the nomenclature will not change the status of illegal aliens.

    Allowing hodgepodges of naming interspersed among various state and federal agencies can lead to errors and inefficiency. The standard definition is illegal alien. I don’t see the need to change it. If the individual wishes to remove themselves from this label they can either go through the process of naturalization or they can return to their nation of origin.

  11. We should worry about insulting or demeaning people who come to the U.S. with the intention of flaunting our laws? These people are here illegally. I don’t get to pick and choose what laws I want to disregard. Would I be able to go to Mexico and ignore their laws but nevertheless expect them not to trample on my sensitive feelings by being referred to as a lawbreaker? Would I have constitutional rights there? These people “borrow” social security numbers and the Obama administration has directed the IRS not to tell the identity theft victim who is using his/her SSN, much less prosecute the illegal. Could I do something like that in Mexico and expect to get away with it? Could I do that in the U.S. and expect to get away with it? Trump has hit a nerve on this issue (among others). Rank and file citizens are sick of illegals. They undermine our entire economic system, and there is no equitable means to fix the damage.

  12. This blog is a peek under the shiny hood of America; the fuel system, the transmission, the brakes, the engine: all needing lots of work. The steering and suspension too.

  13. Oxa Campaign Asks Media To Use “University of Moronland” Rather Than “University of Maryland”

  14. The University of Maryland President and staff should be arrested and prosecuted for treason and criminal acts.

    The President and staff are not imparting knowledge, they are attempting to maliciously misinform, indoctrinate and direct behavior that is inimical to the American thesis and founding documents.

    The President and staff are illegally aiding and abetting illegal aliens who are invading and illegally crossing a national boundary with intent to illegally obtain benefits and employment.

    The President and staff are deliberately and criminally falsifying the status of criminal illegal aliens as citizens.

    The President and staff are conspiring to deceptively manipulate the thinking of students, to deceptively impart false information and to nullify the constitutional rights of students to freedom of thought, speech, press, assembly etc.

    These egregious acts of the President and staff must be met with the severest of penalties.

    Of note: The penalty for treason in 17th century Britain was Drawing and Quartering. This University is in diametric opposition to the founding documents and the sprit of those documents.

    1st Amendment

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

  15. Improper immigrators, yeah, that’s it, that’s the ticket. Or, sneaky buggers.

  16. Olly
    1, December 16, 2015 at 11:27 am
    Steve,
    Why should we refrain from humiliating someone who violates our laws?

    I think this is the wrong question. How is someone’s legal status “humiliating”? I’m not a citizen of Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, or Japan. I feel no humiliation about this fact and if someone were to suggest I should I’d consider them crazy. This is a groundless assertion people invent to justify the unjustifiable.

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