Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Pew Hispanic Center analyzes Census data but just can't bring itself to use the "i" word when referring to illegal immigrants

The New York Times recently published a Q&A on the U.S. Immigration Debate in which it stated that:

There are an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living and working in the United States.
The link points to a March 7, 2006 Pew Hispanic Center Report titled 'Size and Characteristics of the Unauthorized Migrant Population in the U.S.'

Hmmm...according to the Census bureau, the official characterization used by the goverment is 'illegal' (empahsis added):

We use the term foreign born to refer to anyone who is not a U.S. citizen at birth. This includes naturalized U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (immigrants), temporary migrants (such as students), humanitarian migrants (such as refugees), and persons illegally present in the United States.

Looks like 'Unauthorized' is the new 'illegal'. In fact, in the whole 23 page report the 'i' word is utilized just once and only in an indirect reference. Reading the reference leads one to beleive that the 'i' word was erroneously left in place because it's inconsistenly used with the 'unauthorized' qualifier. From page 13 (emphasis added):

Families with children

families with children come in many combinations of legal and illegal statuses, both among the parents and their offspring. Of the 14.6 million people in [un]authorized families in the March 2005 estimates, there were approximately 4.9 million children. Of these, about 3.1 million children, or 64% of all the children in unauthorized families, were American citizens because they were born in the United States. About 1.8 million of the children in these families were themselves unauthorized. Thus, children make up 16% of the entire unauthorized population of 11.1 million in the March 2005 estimates.
To save the reader some time, the credit page for the report was checked. Contrary to initial suspicions, George Orwell was not involved in the editing of the report.


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