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Old 06-13-2019, 06:38 PM
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Broomstick is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
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Originally Posted by The Other Waldo Pepper View Post
If I a cite a sufficiently current one — what then? Would one suffice to show BigT was wrong, or will it get handwaved away as some unique outlier until I provide a second? Or will that still not be enough to show BigT’s “any” comment was wrong? What, exactly, would it take to show that BigT was wrong?
I think your grasping at straws there. I would be VERY surprised if any English dictionary published in North America in the past 20 years would NOT mention the use of "illegal" as a noun/person to be derogatory.

It's a very common term, used of the term, and view of that term.

That line there about “the rest of the folks you mention” — is that true? Because, to pick just one: the part where I mentioned “trespassers” brings to mind how people sure do seem toss that word around, descriptively or conversationally or whatever, even before the folks in question have been tried in a court of law; the term just gets put out there, unremarkably but doing useful work, every so often, right?
There is a definite legal definition of "trespassing" as well as legal penalties for same. You can be legally convicted of trespassing. Otherwise - well, maybe you are and maybe you aren't.

But what if they are documented? What if the — illegal aliens? Is that what we’re to go with, referring to them as both illegal and as aliens, because like the man said it may facilitate discussion and thus be worth the shrug even if I keep seeing it as a distinction without a difference — so, okay, what if the illegal aliens in question happen to be here illegally as a mere matter of documented fact? Isn’t what’s relevant the illegality, regardless of if it happens to be documented?
The "documents" referred to here are those permitting one to legally enter a country and you damn well know it. It's not about "documenting a person's presence" in the US.

A person can legally enter the US for a variety of reasons using a variety of documents to do so - passports, visas, enhanced driver's license, "green card", etc. So a person might be allowed to enter on vacation, or allowed to live here but not work here, or allowed to live AND work here, might be here as a legal refugee, might be here without permission or document permitting entry... You can't tell by looking at someone what their legal status is or isn't. The vast majority of people are NOT the border police and have no business trying to determine if someone is or isn't in the US legally.

If you have certain legal documents are a legal immigrant or legal alien. Again, that might be anything from permission to be here on vacation to some sort of visa or permission to live here permanently and work here as well. If you do not posses any such document you are an illegal immigrant or illegal alien. If so, you are SUPPOSED TO get a hearing where you can plead your case. Maybe you were on a boat on Lake Huron and got blown to the wrong side of the border (that actually does happen - also in Lake Superior, the Detroit River, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario...). Maybe you were snowshoeing along the Montana/Canadian border in January and got lost. Maybe you arrived somehow or other from, say, Somalia and claim you face certain death if forced to return... which, if you can substantiate that might get you a claim of asylum in which case, even if you entered the US without permission you will be given permission to stay at which point you move from "illegal immigrant" to "legal immigrant" without penalty, perhaps one day moving to "citizen". You might enter as a legal refugee.

Or maybe you have no permission to enter at all, snuck in, have no right to be here, maybe you have nefarious ideas of what to do here - but that's not for the average person in the street to determine, any more than the average person in the street is allowed to sit as a judge in a felony trial.

In other words, there are a variety of legal documents and permissions by which you are allowed to stay in the US. Possession of those is what is meant by "documented". A hearing in front of judge is how the determination is SUPPOSED TO be made as to whether or not someone has legal permission to be here or not.

Last edited by Broomstick; 06-13-2019 at 06:39 PM.