Undocumented Nonimmigrants

I was heartened to see Ann Coulter, in her yesterday column, calling for tightening up the language of immigration policy.

The only solution is for the rest of us to impose a broken windows policy on the truth, demanding it in every walk of life. If liars continually get away with it, their lies will only become more preposterous and more enraging.

Illegal aliens are not “undocumented immigrants.” They’re not “immigrants” at all. Immigrants wait in line and jump through hoops to be here. They are invited, by us, to come.

I made a related point in my June 30th podcast:

And on the cultural front, can we please get some rectification of the language? The word “immigrant,” for example, does not mean “a foreigner living in the U.S.A.” An immigrant, in the language of federal law, is a person to whom our government has granted the right of permanent settlement, with the option to apply for naturalization as a citizen.

Every other foreigner here is a nonimmigrant. It says so, for example, right there on the H-1 visa stamped into my British passport in 1985: NONIMMIGRANT VISA, in bright red letters so that it stands out. If you didn’t get permanent settlement rights, you’re a nonimmigrant.

Including nonimmigrants under the word “immigrants” is like including nonferrous metals as ferrous metals, or invertebrates as vertebrates, or silence as noise. It’s not even borderline, like calling Pluto a planet. It’s a flagrant violation of logic.

At the very least, if the open-borders fanatics insist on avoiding the proper and accurate term “illegal alien,” could we at least shift them from “undocumented immigrant” to the less nonsensical, federal-law-compliant term “undocumented nonimmigrant”?