Thanks for all the articles & updates you send me. They are always very informative and keep me up to date with what is happening among us Latinos. Below is my explanation to the true meaning of the term "illegal alien".
What is an "illegal alien"? This derogatory term is commonly used to describe immigrants who do not have Permanent Residence Status (better known as a "Green Card"), and who have not become U.S. citizens yet. Most would answer that an "illegal alien" is someone who has entered this country without getting prior permission to do so. But that answer is not entirely correct. Under current U.S. Immigration law, any Cuban immigrant who sets foot on dry land is allowed to stay under current "Wet Foot/Dry Foot" laws. This Cuban immigrant did NOT get prior permission to come here, yet is given a temporary work visa and allowed to become a resident alien after just 12 months. So even though he or she didn't apply for permission to enter the U.S., they are not "Illegal", because U.S. Immigration gave them documentation that allowed them to stay in this country legally. This provision of U.S. Immigration law came about because there are a large number of Cuban-American U.S. citizens concentrated in South Florida, whose vote is courted by elected officials in local, state, or Federal government.
So the definition of "illegal alien" has nothing to do with getting permission to enter this country. It is defined by whether U.S. Immigration has decided to give documents to any
immigrant already here. Therefore, any immigrant not given the appropriate paperwork to stay is actually an UNDOCUMENTED ALIEN, not an illegal one. The act of entering this country does not make them illegal. In our great nation that was created on the values of freedom and equality, every immigrant should be given the same opportunities, not just the ones with political influence.