The progression from "Illegal Aliens" to "Migrants"


Well-Known Member
We may have a lot of people - but we’re 4% of the world. It’s impossible to take on 90% of the world’s poor by bringing them into our country.

Worse -the world grows by 60 to 80 million every year. Even if we took in the incredible amount of ten million a year, the world would replace that in two months. It’s like trying to bail out the ocean.

We will NEVER - never - never be able to help the world by allowing them all in. And we should never fail to take care of our own citizens over the rest of the world.


Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Just heard some leftiess are calling them "newcomers" now.

That's why Democrats have to constantly be changing what they call things. Their stupid ideas are so ridiculous and many times outright evil that they taint the original label, so they change it to something else they can make abhorrent. They don't seem to understand that no matter what they call things, they'll still suck.


Well-Known Member
I was simply amazed how quickly the entire world moved from calling illegal immigrants just that to the currently used term of "migrants." For one thing the long-standing definition of immigrant is significantly different from migrant.

Migrant: a person who moves from one place to another, especially in order to find work or better living conditions.

Immigrant: a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.

When I think of a migrant, I think of migrant farm workers, like those who come to Maryland each year on H1-B Visas to pick crabs so the crab industry doesn't have to pay real wages to US workers. When the crab season is over, they go home or on to their next gig, wherever that may be. None of these folks crossing the southern border have any intention of going home or moving on to the next gig.

Since I'm lazy, I asked Google's AI to outline the change over the years from the legal term of "illegal aliens" to "migrants."

ME: outline or discuss the progression of the terms used for "illegal immigrants" from the legal term "illegal immigrant" to the current term "migrant." Include the terms "undocumented immigrant" and "immigrant."

Absolutely. Here's an outline of the progression of terms used to describe people residing in a country without legal authorization, along with explanations about why these shifts in language have occurred:

Terminology Progression and Rationale
  • Illegal Alien/Illegal Immigrant:
    • This was the standard legal and commonly used terminology for much of the 20th century. It highlights the unlawful status of the individual.
    • Why it changed: This language has become increasingly criticized as dehumanizing. The word "illegal" is primarily associated with criminal activity, and some believe it unfairly conflates an immigration violation with dangerous criminality.
  • Undocumented Immigrant:
    • Introduced in the early 2000s as a more neutral and descriptive term. It focuses on the person's lack of legal documentation rather than broadly labeling them as illegal.
    • Why it changed: While less stigmatizing, the term "undocumented" still puts the emphasis on what the individual lacks, rather than acknowledging their broader identity.
  • Immigrant:
    • The use of the simple term "immigrant" seeks to create linguistic equality. It acknowledges that all people in this situation, regardless of legal status, are immigrants that have come to a country from somewhere else.
    • Why it changed: This is an attempt to humanize the individuals and move away from terminology that primarily focuses on legal status. However, some argue that this term is overly broad and erases the important distinction between those who entered a country lawfully and those who did not.
  • Migrant:
    • This is an even broader term that applies to anyone who has moved from their native country, regardless of their reason for doing so or their legal status.
    • Why it changed: Using the term "migrant" reflects the complexity of human movement, which includes various motivations beyond pure immigration (such as seeking refuge or fleeing conflict). While accurate, critics feel it is too vague in the specific context of discussing those lacking legal status in a particular country.
Important Considerations:
  • No Universal Consensus: There is no single term that is universally accepted or without potential drawbacks. The terminology remains contested and fluid.
  • Media Guidance: Many news outlets, like the Associated Press, have specific guidelines for journalists. They often recommend avoiding terms like "illegal immigrant" in favor of more neutral descriptors.
  • Power of Language: The choice of words has significant implications for how we perceive and treat people who have migrated to a country without authorization. Terminology reflects evolving viewpoints on legality, the complexities of migration, and the recognition of individuals' basic humanity.
Let me know if you'd like a deeper explanation of any specific term or the broader context of this linguistic evolution!

ME: good, please redo and include any of the people or organizations who are known to have facilitated the implementation of any of the terms.

Progression of Terms for People Residing Without Legal Authorization:​

Terminology Progression and Rationale:
  • Illegal Alien/Illegal Immigrant:
    • This was the standard legal and commonly used term throughout the 20th century, primarily adopted by:
      • Government agencies: Used in official documents and policies to designate legal status.
      • Media outlets: Widely used without much critical reflection.
    • Why it changed: This language has faced criticism for being dehumanizing and conflating legal status with criminality.
  • Undocumented Immigrant:
    • Introduced in the early 2000s by:
      • Advocacy groups: Used to frame the issue around the lack of documentation rather than legality.
      • Academic circles: Considered a more neutral and descriptive term.
    • Why it changed: While less stigmatizing, it still focuses on the lack of paperwork and may still have unintended consequences.
  • Immigrant:
    • Gained traction in the late 2000s and early 2010s, championed by:
      • Immigrant rights organizations: Used to emphasize shared humanity and belonging.
      • Some academics and journalists: Advocated for equality of terminology.
    • Why it changed: Aimed to move the conversation away from legal status and recognize a broader identity. However, it can be argued to be too broad and fail to differentiate between legal and undocumented individuals.
  • Migrant:
    • Recently gaining wider use, often attributed to:
      • International organizations: Used due to its inclusivity and recognition of various reasons for movement.
      • Some academics and media outlets: Seen as reflecting the complexity of human mobility.
    • Why it changed: Acknowledges different motivations for movement beyond just immigration, but can lack specificity in the context of legal status.
Important Considerations:
  • No Universal Consensus: The preferred term remains a point of debate, with different stakeholders having varying perspectives.
  • Media Guidelines: Many news outlets have adopted guidelines for journalists, often recommending against "illegal immigrant" and favoring more neutral alternatives.
  • Power of Language: The chosen terminology significantly impacts how we perceive and treat individuals with undocumented status. It reflects evolving views on legality, the complexities of migration, and the importance of recognizing human dignity.
It's important to note that the specific organizations or individuals advocating for each term are not always easily identifiable due to the gradual nature of linguistic change and the involvement of diverse actors. However, the key point is that the shift in terminology reflects a broader societal conversation about how we view and discuss migration and immigration status.

Then, let's examine the motivation little more.

ME: Is the progression of terms to describe illegal aliens similar to what was termed newspeak in the George Orwell novel 1984?

While there are similarities between the progression of terms for "illegal immigrants" and the concept of newspeak in 1984, there are also significant differences:

  • Manipulation of Language: Both involve manipulating language to influence how people think and perceive reality. In 1984, the Party used newspeak to control thought by limiting the available vocabulary and changing the meanings of existing words. Similarly, the shift in terminology regarding undocumented immigrants can be seen as an attempt to shape public opinion and influence the way people think about this group.
  • Evolving Terminology: Both newspeak and the language used to describe undocumented immigrants are constantly evolving. In 1984, the Party actively created new words in newspeak, while the evolution of terms for undocumented immigrants is a more organic process influenced by various social and political forces.
  • Control vs. Advocacy: In 1984, newspeak was a tool of an oppressive regime to control the population. The evolution of terms for undocumented immigrants often stems from advocacy groups and individuals seeking to challenge negative stereotypes and promote a more humane approach.
  • Intent and Motivation: The motivation behind newspeak was to restrict thought and limit individual agency. The use of terms like "undocumented immigrant" or "migrant" often aims to achieve the opposite - to promote understanding and challenge discriminatory language.
  • Transparency vs. Obfuscation: Newspeak was deliberately obfuscatory, aiming to make independent thought and dissent impossible. The evolution of terms regarding undocumented immigrants, while contested, is generally a more open and transparent process, reflecting broader societal changes and discussions.
Overall, while the progression of terms for "illegal immigrants" demonstrates how language can be used to shape perceptions and influence public discourse, it differs significantly from the manipulative and controlling nature of newspeak in 1984. The motivations behind the terminology changes are often rooted in efforts to promote fairness and respect, even if the specific terms themselves remain debated and contested.

That's actually a better than fair summation, as well as motivating factors, all things considered. Some of it's just wrong, but overall, the progression is pretty accurate.


PREMO Member


#*! boat!
PREMO Member
Again, you don’t get to choose where migrants claim asylum. They have every right to do it here.
And we have every right send them packing. A tiny percentage are legitimately requesting asylum. Morons like you conveniently skip over that part.

If they are "escaping persecution" from Guatemala, why don't they "claim asylum" in Mexico. It's such a short trip.