If I drove into town one day and parked my car in a fire lane while I went shopping, I wouldn’t be surprised to find a ticket waiting for me when I returned. I would have been parked illegally, and by extension, I would have been an illegal parker, meaning one who parks illegally. It doesn’t mean that my car and I have no right to exist, are immoral, or have no value to society. It just means that I didn’t follow the law while parking.
Therefore, it completely escapes me why some people have a bee in their bonnet about the term “illegal immigrant.” It means one who has immigrated illegally, or a person who has not followed established procedures or laws to reside and work in a certain country. The term is race, ethnicity, gender, and it all other ways, neutral. It refers only to one’s adherence to immigration law, and is no better or worse, ethically-speaking, than the supposedly more politically correct alternatives being put forth, such as undocumented or unauthorized.
But no matter what you call it, the fact remains that there are millions of people living in this country who have not followed the law when it comes to immigration and something needs to be done about it. Everybody, from the left wing to the right, is interested in immigration reform and we all want immigrants to be in this country legally and above board. So maybe, instead of arguing over what terminology to use and accusing each other of being racist, we could actually do something to make authorized, documented, and legal immigration worth the time and effort, and stop making it so easy for people to come here and live like citizens without following the law.