As you all know, I prefer the term “economic refugee” for many reasons, which I explain on this link here.
Nevertheless, the fact that a SUPREME COURT JUSTICE, namely Sonia Sotomayor, used the more humanized and sensitive term “undocumented immigrant” instead of the usual offensive & dehumanizing “illegal immigrant” term, represents a huge step forward because it comes from a representative of the highest court.
As I’ve explained on other outlets, the term “illegal immigrant” tends to narrow the debate to superficial issues of “legality”, ignores the human element in the immigration debate, and is a perfect recipe for racist epithets.
To read the story on this unprecedented use of the term “undocumented immigrant” by our first LATINA Supreme Court Justice, click below on the story title:
Some of you know that I was a very early supporter of Sonia Sotomayor from even before she was the actual nominee to become the next Supreme Court Justice (click here for my previous post on this).
Her story is another one of those that were quickly labeled as “unlikely”, just like Obama’s presidential nomination and election victories were. “Obama will never nominate her”, some people speculated in messages I received. Then to everyone’s surprise he nominated her and then the Senate easily confirmed her, in a sign of the growing clout of the Latino vote.
Moral of the story: don’t be too quick to dismiss or to think that things are “impossible”. May we one day be using the term “economic refugee” when referring to this humanitarian crisis that we currently call “illegal immigration.”