The ninth circuit answered this question for us last year in Martinez v. Regents of U.C. (Super. Ct. No. CV052064), and still some folks seem to confused. This determination to use the term “undocumented immigrant” might lead a cynic to the conclusion that the intent here isn’t to legally describe a class of persons, but to try to “frame” an issue using Orwellian language in order to advance a political position. But that wouldn’t be us now, would it?
Page 3, Footnote 2
Defendants prefer the term “undocumented immigrants.” However, defendants do not cite any authoritative definition of the term and do not support their assertion that the terms “undocumented immigrant” and “illegal alien” are interchangeable. We consider the term “illegal alien” less ambiguous. Thus, under federal law, an “alien” is “any person not a citizen or national of the United States.” (8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(3).) A “national of the United States” means a U.S. citizen or a noncitizen who owes permanent allegiance to the United States. (8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(22).) Under federal law, “immigrant” means every alien except those classified by federal law as nonimmigrant aliens. (8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15).) “Nonimmigrant aliens” are, in general, temporary visitors to the United States, such as diplomats and students who have no intention of abandoning their residence in a foreign country. (8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(F), (G); Elkins v. Moreno (1978) 435 U.S. 647, 664-665 [55 L.Ed.2d 614, 627-628] [under pre-1996 law, held the question whether nonimmigrant aliens could become domiciliaries of Maryland for purposes of in-state college tuition was a matter of state law].) The federal statutes at issue in this appeal refer to “alien[s] who [are] not lawfully present in the United States.” (8 U.S.C. §§ 1621(d), 1623.) In place of the cumbersome phrase “alien[s] who [are] not lawfully present,” we shall use the term “illegal aliens.”
So now when the lefties complain again that the term “illegal alien” is improper, you’ve got the citation needed in order to demonstrate how pathetically stupid they are. The amnesty debate looks like it’s going to heat up again pretty soon, so readers will most likely be able to use this reference in short order, and of course often.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.