Sen. Marco Rubio's Tangled Web of Dishonest PC Spin
"A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to."
So said British prison psychiatrist and social commentator Theodore Dalrymple. No better words could describe the current fad of calling illegal aliens "undocumented." On that note, Senator Rubio is once again endearing himself to the left by adopting the PC terminology "undocumented."
I asked Rubio's press secretary, Alex Conant, why the senator is using the left wing terminology "undocumented" instead of "illegal immigrants." Conant replied that Sen. Rubio "continues to use both terms interchangeably."
Since that reply evaded my original question, I again asked why Rubio is using the left-wing terminology. Conant did not reply to my request for clarification.
In days gone by (last year) the Associated Press, of all groups, held the line on truthful reporting and chose the path of legal and factual accuracy. The AP, with clarity, stated in 2012:
Terms like "undocumented" and "unauthorized" can make a person's illegal presence in the country appear to be a matter of minor paperwork. Many illegal immigrants aren't "undocumented" at all; they may have a birth certificate and passport from their home country, plus a U.S. driver's license, Social Security card or school ID. What they lack is the fundamental right to be in the United States.
Without that right, their presence is illegal.
If only our political class had the spine of the AP, circa 2012. The AP underwent thought reform and this month became politically correct, but it is important to note what language they were using when they were being honest, and legally accurate.
As the Center for Immigration Studies notes, the California Court of Appeals has had to rebuke open-borders activists for using political jargon instead of accurate terminology. Rejecting an activist group's use of "undocumented immigrants," the court held that "under federal law, an 'alien' is 'any person not a citizen or national of the United States'. (8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(3).)... In place of the cumbersome phrase 'alien[s] who [are] not lawfully present", we shall use the term "illegal aliens'." The CA Supreme Court decided to use "unlawful alien."
The term "undocumented" should be derided because forgery is rife. Green cards and Social Security cards are forged by the hundreds, allowing some illegal aliens to obtain government benefits and other forms of identification. An accurate description for those criminals would be "illegally documented."
Framing is crucial to the immigration discussion. For this reason, many find it troubling that Rubio would use the same language as amnesty supporters like Luis Gutierrez, who always says that illegal aliens are "the undocumented."
When pressed about why he used "undocumented" rather than "illegal" recently, Rubio says, "I'm not sure if there's a politically correct one or not. In my mind they're the same thing." Rubio is either lying or asking us to believe he's stupid.
That trickery, together with Rubio's absurd rationale for his complete reversal on amnesty, marks a degree of dishonesty unbecoming even for a politician.
Aside from election posturing, Rubio has been suspect on immigration for some time. Recall Rubio's insulting remarks in his book American Son escaped notice: "I begin to wonder if some of the people who speak so disparagingly about immigrants would be just as worked up if most of them were coming from Canada."
If only illegal immigrants were coming from Canada. Then we could say what we really think of them, and not fear being branded racist.
The language issue remains critical. If we use euphemisms to describe people who have disrespected our sovereignty and broken our laws, then we guarantee more such behavior.
John T. Bennett (MA, University of Chicago, Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences '07; J.D., Emory University School of Law '12) is a former Army officer with tours of duty in Djibouti, Africa, as well as Iraq and Afghanistan. His writing has appeared in the American Thinker, Chicago Tribune, World Net Daily, Townhall.com, Accuracy in Media, and FrontPage Magazine, among others.