An elegant solution for the term “illegal alien”

Robert Pratt photo Copyright Pratt on Texas

Robert Pratt

For Breitbart, John Binder reported: “[CNN] explained in a piece titled “Are undocumented immigrants committing a crime? Not necessarily”, noting that they are not technically committing a crime by refusing to leave the U.S.

“Under federal law, it is a crime for anyone to enter into the U.S. without the approval of an immigration officer — it’s a misdemeanor offense that carries fines and no more than six months in prison.

“Many foreign nationals, however, enter the country legally every day on valid work or travel visas, and end up overstaying for a variety of reasons. But that’s not a violation of federal criminal law — it’s a civil violation that gets handled in immigration court proceedings,” Binder wrote.

Does it really matter whether people who violate our immigration laws are violating civil or criminal law?

Sounds a bit like six-of-one and a half-dozen of another to me.

Does it really matter whether people who violate our immigration laws are violating civil or criminal law?

Those who cross the border without being documented with a visa through a control point are illegal aliens. Those who enter legally and then don’t leave when a visa expires are still in the country outside the parameters provided by law. So, it is reasonable to refer to them as illegal aliens as well.

I’ve a simple solution to the debate over the terminology which seems so important to the media-Left: Change the law to make visa overstays a criminal misdemeanor and implement a system which makes these overstays much harder to hide. Then we can comfortably call them all illegal aliens, because they are.


  1. To think how “illegal aliens” are treated by all other countries, to my knowledge, infuriates me when I hear people trying to spin words to dumb-down the reality. They are in this country illegally, regardless of misdemeanor or felony it is. Okay, so some come here on work visas. Wouldn’t a fine clamp down on their overstays? They are here to make money, after all. As for those who entered illegally, it only makes sense to treat them in the same way US citizens would be treated anywhere else in the world for entering illegally. Why should we expect it to be different, or somehow ‘friendlier’, when even Mexico doesn’t reciprocate what the expectations?

    • Pratt on Texas says:

      Yep, and I’ve experience being on a visa in Mexico and other countries. I once had to spend several days of extreme inconvenience just to make sure my tourist visa was legal in Mexico – a long story but the point is that we had to drop most of our plans to work to make sure I was in compliance with the law. If not legal in Mexico, I’d be arrested.

  2. Scott Parrish says:

    Dithering over definition, let us rather debate the size of the demilitarized zone, with lethal signs warning: “No Entry, Deadly Force Authorized “. Our govt. uses those words against us, if we start getting to close to their secret sites.

What do you think?...

© Pratt on Texas / Perstruo Texas, Inc.