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Dennis Ross
Dennis RossRepublican, FLCurrent Position:Congressmansince January 01, 2011
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Political Article

Fact-Based Article
Illegal Alien? Undocumented Worker? Which is Correct for Those in the United States Illegally?

In the midst of the immigration debate currently raging in the United States, a terminology issue has arisen that has often dominated - and detracted from - the actual conversation about our growing immigration problem. Instead of asking ourselves what we can do about our lax borders and the massive numbers of people who are bypassing the legal immigration process and choosing to come across the border illegally, we are stuck in an endless discussion about what these immigrants should be called now that they are here.

Undocumented or Illegal? Left or Right?

While this argument has been around for a while now, it began to reach the boiling point back in 2013 when President Barack Obama was noted for beginning to replace the term "illegal immigrant" with the term "undocumented immigrants" when making speeches around the country.

With the passing of time, the term that Americans choose to use to describe those who are here illegally has come to signify their political leanings, at least in the minds of some. In our often over-politically correct landscape, leftists are believed to most often choose to follow Obama's path, by referring to these people as undocumented, while those who lean more to the right are said to be continuing to call them illegal immigrants. 

The Size and Scope of the Immigration Problem

According to recent statistics, it is believed that as of 2014, there were approximately 11.3 million people in the United States who had come into the country without using the legal immigration system. This number is slightly less than the 12.2 million high point that was reached in 2005, but still a significant number of newcomers who need food, clothing, education, and medical care. While many of these people do find work here, they often take jobs where they can be paid in cash, making it difficult to track the actual number who are gainfully employed.

Of the 11.3 million who are here illegally, it is believed that approximately half are of Mexican heritage. Additionally, the brunt of the immigration problem seems to fall largely on just six states - California, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, Florida and New York.

Illegal or Undocumented: Why it Matters

To solve the ongoing dilemma regarding the question of whether someone in this country who has not gone through the legal immigration process should be considered illegal or undocumented, Americans will first have to decide what they are willing to do about the issue.

If they want them to stay and adopt America as their homeland, then perhaps the term “undocumented is the best choice, as the use of this term could help ease the way for a formal path to citizenship.

On the other hand, however, if people here illegally continue to be referred to as illegal aliens by law-biding Americans, then the path will likely lead to deportation and other penalties. In addition, using the term illegal aliens will also help to create a push for better border security, including a wall, more security laws and tougher illegal immigration laws.

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Voter Responses & Comments:
Excellent comments on both the right and left leaning articles attached to this poll. I encourage all to read and add their thoughts. C.B. - Independent, GA
9/16/2016 10:46:00 AM
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