That practice has bothered me for a while now. It’s true, I definitely fall into the “open borders libertarian” camp, but that’s not really the point in this post.
If someone says, “I am concerned that there are so many immigrants coming in, and I think that wouldn’t happen if the border lands and roads were all privately owned,” then OK let’s have that discussion. (Anthony Gregory does a great job laying out the view I endorse.)
What I’m complaining about is when a person says, “Our government no longer listens to the will of the people! We clearly told them we want border enforcement, and they don’t listen to us. Instead they let in these millions of illegals, and educate their kids for free.”
I’ve been trying to put my finger on it, and I think my problems are twofold. First, to call an entire group of people “illegals” is the same dehumanizing trick as to call others “birthers” or “truthers.”
Second, a lot of these people using the term don’t really care about the official statutes coming out of Washington. If the politicians suddenly voted to turn all the “illegals” into “legals,” the rabble rousers wouldn’t be placated. No, they would call back in to the talk shows going nuts because, “Those fools in DC gave amnesty to all the illegals!”
So it’s not really their illegal status per se that is at issue. I’ve never heard anyone call in to Sean Hannity and refer to the signers of the Declaration as “illegals.”