Kopel on Immigration

The Independence Institute’s Dave Kopel took the major local media to task for their coverage of last week’s immigration rallies in his Saturday column for the Rocky Mountain News. In one memorable passage, he specifically criticizes local media for their choice of terminology:

Even more deceptive is the media phrase “undocumented worker.” The term is inaccurate, because illegal aliens usually do have documents, albeit fraudulent ones. “Undocumented worker” is an euphemism used by those who want to avoid mentioning that the worker in question has entered and remained in the United States unlawfully and has procured a job unlawfully, often via criminally forged documents.

If the newspapers are going to continue using “undocumented worker,” then the papers should, to be consistent, start writing that illegal users of morphine are really “undocumented patients,” that bank embezzlers are “undocumented withdrawers,” school truants are “undocumented vacationers,” people who drive after their licenses have been revoked are “undocumented drivers,” and 15-year-olds who use fake IDs to buy vodka are “undocumented drinkers.”


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