Sunday, April 06, 2008

Your "Crimmigrant" Euphemism Of The Day

Today's lesson in how to report on illegal immigrants without identifying them comes, not surprisingly, from the Boston Globe-Democrat. In today's article about the new pro-border-security policies of Rhode Island, the Globe-Democrat "reports" the following:

Many immigrants [?] who live in Massachusetts routinely travel to Rhode Island for work, to visit family and for doctor's appointments, and to frequent nightclubs, parks, and the multitude of shops in Providence and Central Falls selling cheeses, breads, and pastries from their homelands.

Now immigrant families without legal papers say Rhode
Island's move has prompted them to rethink their routines, fearful they will be arrested for a minor traffic violation and sent back to their native countries. Some who work in Rhode Island say they are even looking for jobs outside the state.

"People[?] are terrified," said Anibal Lucas, director of the Maya K'iche Organization in New Bedford, a nonprofit that aids immigrants. "If they go to work, they don't know if they'll end up in jail at the end of the day. It's horrible." [emphasis added].

Who is terrified? "PEOPLE?" Gee, I'm a "people" and I'm not afraid to go to Rhode Island. My friend, Mark Bedrosian, is opening an Italian deli selling his world-famous homemade sausage there in a few weeks, and I plan to be a frequent customer. And I am prepared to guarantee that I won't "end up in jail." The same is true of any "immigrants" who head to North Providence to sample Mark's delicious sausage. Citizens and legal visitors are all welcome!

So who is it the "reporter" is writing about in this story? It must be these strange beings, the "immigrant families without legal papers."

What "legal papers" are talking about here? Wills, testaments or rental agreements? Perhaps these immigrants all work in the paralegal industry and have forgotten some paperwork they need from the office?

Surely we're not talking about immigration documents like visas or green cards. After all, there's a handy, easy-to-use phrase the refers specifically to all "people" or members of "families" who are in the U.S. but who do not have permission to be here. It's "illegal immigrant."

I can't believe newspapers are hiring journalists who aren't familiar with this clear and accurate phrase. Not even the Boston Globe-Democrat.

From a writing standpoint, "immigrant families without legal papers" is a disaster. From a "avoiding the Natural Truth" standpoint, however, it does exactly what the "journalists" of the Boston Globe-Democrat are trying to achieve.