Saturday, December 27, 2008

Illegal is Illegal

il·le·gal (¹-l¶“g…l) adj. 1. Prohibited by law. 2. Prohibited by official rules. 3. Computer Science. Unacceptable to or not performable by a computer. --il·le·gal n. An illegal immigrant. --il·le“gal·ly adv. (American Heritage Dictionary- AHD)

Illegal Immigrant, Illegal Alien, or just plain Illegal.

The illegality of a person is something that I fail to comprehend. Inanimate things are illegal, specific actions are illegal, human beings are not. Yet in this country I am. It's a hard notion to wrap my head around. The fact that I'm "illegal". It is something that is constantly in my mind, whether it's at the forefront or hiding deep in the back of my thoughts.

So what specifically makes me "illegal"? Well, many label me as an illegal immigrant, which means (according to the AHD) that I am prohibited by law from being in the United States. But wait, that doesn't make ME illegal. I'm almost positive that my friends can't be prosecuted simply because they hang out with me (although with HR4437 they might have).

However, when I hear people talk about undocumented immigrants it's always "oh the illegals" or "did you hear she is illegal". Even when I explained my situation to my closest friends I got the classic "oh so you're illegal?" response.

I would like to take this time to clarify something.

I (insert my name here) am NOT prohibited by law.

So why does this inaccurate label refuse to detach itself from me? Well because it makes things easier.

By labeling me as "illegal" I am suddenly robbed of the ability to be identified as a part of society. I am robbed of my humanity. Which in turn makes it easier for others to deny me of rights, to deny me of an identity, in essence to deny me of my being.

Why do some insist on using "illegal" as a means to classify me. Well it is substantially easier to deny an "illegal" the right to health care, or a fair trial, than to deny these rights to a "John" or a "Carlos" or a "Hans". And better yet by being "illegal" and can be morphed into a statistic, which can be manipulated and used for any means that one desires (for example, it's a known fact that 99.9% of illegals don't like percentages).

I just wish that this "illegal" label, and those who insist on using it, would realize that I already have a perfect label to define me. And if they want to refer to me (and others like me) then they can refer to me as a:

hu·man (hy›“m…n) adj. 1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of human beings. 2. Having or showing those positive aspects of nature and character that distinguish human beings from the lower animals. 3. Subject to or indicative of the weaknesses, imperfections, and fragility associated with human beings. 4. Having the form of a human being. 5. Made up of human beings. --hu·man n. A human being; a person.

1 comment:

  1. great posts! i'm going to add you to my blog list (i'm just starting out).