Citing concerns over the offensive-sounding implication of culpability latent in the term “illegal immigrant,” the United Nations is asking reporters covering human trafficking in Malta to stop saying “illegal immigrant” and start saying “irregular migrant.”
What, like their stomach problems trump their citizenship?
The U.N. is also discouraging reporters from referring to illegal immigrants’ border movements as “clandestine,” which, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Malta, has a “strong negative connection, invoking a sense of criminality.”
The Maltese case differs greatly from the illegal immigration controversy that rages in the United States. Many illegal immigrants in Malta are fleeing far more hostile political circumstances in Africa and claim political asylum upon arrival. But the ostensibly compassionate effort to bend plain language to dull the sting of its proper meaning is a trek down a one-way path toward crafting ever more statist policies spawned by globalists and liberals.
Writing for The Telegraph, foreign correspondent Colin Freeman explains the strange logic that makes offensive the very commonsense practice of calling things by their true names.
“Illegal immigration” apparently carries connotations of criminality, of someone doing something wrong. Like, for example, paying a people smuggler €700 to transport them (sic) a rickety boat that might sink with the loss of all on board. Whereas “irregular” is a more “neutral” term. Probably all the same to you and me.
…Make no mistake, people traffickers are the modern day equivalent of slave traders, the only difference being that these days, they have sidelines in drugs and weapons smuggling too. Yes, of course they are more culpable than the people they exploit, just as heroin traffickers get heavier sentences than heroin addicts. But to describe their cargo as simply “irregular” rather than illegal is a sophistry that risks detracting from the very real criminality of what they do.
The tide of humanity unleashed by the movements of desperate or displaced people can’t be legislated out of existence. Law is too feeble a construct to ultimately deter the primal motivator that’s driven mass migrations of Vandals, Visigoths, Mongols, Rwandans and Mexicans — all of which have left permanent and fundamental cultural change in their wake as they inhabit their new homes. Immigration — legal or not — is an enormously difficult phenomenon to attempt to control. But if there’s national will to address it as a problem that threatens the foundations of a society, then a Nation has every right to do so.
However, it’s a disservice to both sides of the argument to subvert, from the outset, the very language used to diagnose exactly what the problem is.