The New York Times’ lead piece on their web site right now, written by Maria Newman, provides a good distillation of how the use of the term “immigrant” has become an interchangeable term to describe both people who are here legally and those who are not. Her opening paragraph:
In rallies that appeared to be exceeding the expectations of organizers and the police, hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their supporters marched today in more than 100 cities throughout the country, casting off the old fears of their illegal status to assert that they have a right to a humane life in this country.
To say nothing of that last line; if they didn’t think they would achieve a "humane life in this country," they wouldn't have come here in the first place.
They were supporting immigrant rights nationally and protesting state legislation awaiting Gov. Sonny Perdue's signature that would require adults seeking many state-administered benefits to prove they are in the country legally.
And then some useless conventional wisdom:
Like many of the undocumented workers who were marching in the rallies, Abel Salgado, 30, who works in a dairy farm in the
Madison area, said that most of them are working hard at jobs that Americans clearly want someone to perform for them.
I’d like to see a survey of Americans (or legal immigrants) who have lost low wage jobs to illegal aliens at even lower wages, and hear them say, “Well, you know, I don’t want to do this kind of work anyway. It’s beneath me.” Somehow I doubt it.
Meanwhile, we shouldn’t expect to hear too much in the mainstream media from Latinos who came here legally, or were even born here, many of whom (unsurprisingly) have a different view of the situation.
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