When Peter Brimelow asked me to write about the Politically Correct drive to drop the term “illegal alien” in favor “undocumented immigrant” (increasingly, “migrant”) to describe someone who enters the country illegally, I hesitated. I wondered whether anyone doesn’t know that the Treason Lobby has changed the term to sell Amnesty to the American public. But then, there are still some people who don’t realize the Great Replacement is real.
When I began my career with the Border Patrol, I was a somewhat naïve college-educated recruit. The agency was overwhelmingly Mexican-American. Officially, the Border Patrol is 50 percent Hispanic, a self-reported number. My guess: It’s between 70 percent to 80 percent Hispanic. So, when my Mexican-American law instructor at the Border Patrol Academy repeatedly referred to illegal aliens as “wets,” I was surprised. Isn’t that “racist?” Apparently not, virtually everyone who worked the border called them wets, including the wets! “Soy un mojado” (Spanish for “wet”), illegals would say when I caught them.
Another term heard inside the Border Patrol, but never outside it: “Tonk.” That’s the sound a black Maglite makes, I learned, when smashed on an illegal’s head in the quiet, still night. An older agent told me to say it’s an old acronym for “Temporarily Out of Native Kountry” if an outsider overheard the term.
(Personally, I think its roots may be from something else. The Texas Rangers used the Amerindian tribe known as the Tonkawa as scouts. Reportedly, the Rangers didn’t think much of them as fighters and were fairly disparaging towards them. At one time, if you believe the book Texas Ranger: The Epic Story Of Frank Hamer. The Man Who Killed Bonnie And Clyde , the Texas Rangers patrolled the border with the United States Border Patrol and the Rangers were not shy about shooting first and asking questions later. I have a feeling the Border Patrol may have picked up the term from the Rangers and made it their own)
Sometime after I landed in the field, higher-ups ordered agents in California and Arizona to stop using “illegal alien” and instead use “undocumented alien,” or UDAs on federal immigration forms. Texas still called them illegal aliens.
Of course, the shift in terminology is a Treason Lobby tactic to humanize illegals, just as dehumanizing our wartime enemies is a frequent tactic of government propagandists.
When I was a kid, my brother had a book on the U.S. Navy’s war in the Pacific. The veteran author always referred to the Japanese as “Nips,” shorthand hand for Nippon, the Japanese word for Japan. “The Nips threw everything they had at us,” he wrote. Everything was Nips this and Nips that.
Writing in On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman observed that the military encouraged using “gook” to refer to our Asian enemies. Training a young man to kill becomes easier by dehumanizing his target.
Note, by the way, that Trump supporters are called “white supremacists,” and the Mostly Peaceful Protesters on January 6, 2021 are now called “insurrectionists.” No wonder we see so many Twitter accounts that call for their extermination.
They’ve been dehumanized.
Likewise, Treason lobbyists humanize illegals by calling them “undocumented immigrants,” and know that sob stories play well in the media. Thus do they trot out the “undocumented” who are hiding “in the shadows”—particularly families with small children—and pitch tales of woe about the crime and poverty in their s*** hole countries, which they abandon to flee for the Magic Dirt of the United States.
Those stories make illegals sound less like criminals and more like noble people, despite dragging small children through dangerous territory in Mexico or the desert at the border, or worse, using dangerous coyotes to smuggle them across.
This etymological sleight of hand won’t work, of course, on the average VDARE reader, or even the slightly politically aware, as five minutes on Twitter shows. But it works well enough on Americans of average intelligence who don’t know the country is being invaded, or that Traitor Joe Biden has released well more than 1 million illegals to colonize our cities and towns.
An example: When a Breitbart writer uses “illegal immigrant,” someone in the combox invariably and falsely claims that all immigrants are by definition legal. That isn’t true, going strictly by Merriam Webster: “a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence.”
As H.L. Mencken said, “No one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”
So even if you don’t think that these seemingly subtle name changes don’t have meaning, they do for the average uneducated voter, duly exposed with amusing frequency by comedian Jay Leno on his Tonight show Jaywalking segments.
To understand why changing the name of something is important to those changing the name, consider that years ago, after Valujet DC-9 crashed in the Everglades and killed 100 people, the airline became AirTran. (We have to hope that does not mean the pilots are transgenders.) After the Exxon Valdez ran aground and spilled almost 11 million gallons of oil in Prince William Sound, it was renamed the Mediterranean [ValuJet changing name, like others tries to lose past, by Farrell Kramer, Associated Press, July 11, 1997].
But those changes are, in a sense, harmless. Changing illegal aliens to “undocumented aliens,” or “undocumented immigrants,” or “unauthorized immigrants” isn’t harmless, for it removes the taint of what the illegals have done: cross the border illegally.
One leftist wrote in a piece aptly titled Words Matter, “living in the U.S. without authorization, such as overstaying a visa but entering the country legally, is a civil but not a criminal offense” [Words Matter: Illegal Immigrant, Undocumented Immigrant, or Unauthorized Immigrant? by Jonathan Kwan, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, February 11, 2021].
That is false. Illegal entry falls under 8 U.S.C. 1325, “improper entry by alien,” which can invite civil and criminal civil penalties. Despite having been a border agent, I’ve never seen an illegal alien actually get fined.
Kwan’s piece also notes:
…in April 2021, the Biden administration instructed U.S. immigration enforcement agencies to replace the term “illegal alien” (which is used throughout U.S. immigration law) with ‘undocumented noncitizen.’”
Refusing to use those terms, by the way, might help explain the replacement of former Border Patrol chief Rodney Scott with Raul Ortiz, who recently informed Congress that, contrary to claims from the Regime, the Department of Homeland Security does not have operational control of the border [Border Patrol chief tells CBP he won’t endorse language policy that stops use of ‘illegal alien,’ by Adam Shaw, Fox News, April 28, 2021].
Another word change, though, appeared long before Traitor Joe opened the borders.
Because “alien” can mean strange, foreign or exotic, the Treason Lobby inside the federal government didn’t want that term used. For years, aliens were called, well, aliens, as this old-style Resident Alien card shows:
That changed in 1997 during the Clinton Administration, supposedly to combat counterfeiting [History of the Green Card, CitizenPath, October 16, 2020]. The new resident alien cards say nothing about the individual’s alien status. Instead, they are “permanent residents.”
George Orwell explained it in Politics and the English Language: “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” And it can also corrupt political discourse, as it has with immigration.
Should a GOP president prevail in 2024, I wonder whether his administration will have the nerve to go in the other direction, and rebrand illegal aliens as “invaders” or “infiltrators,” as the Israelis do.
If not, he will have ceded the language of immigration to the Treason Lobby, which already almost completely controls it now.
The author [Email him] is retired from the Border Patrol.