Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Obama's choice words carry great weight


Having declared "words matter," President Barack Obama's has drummed up quite a bit of attention in the blogosphere over his use of the term "illegal immigrant" during his speech to Congress earlier this month. The president strayed from using "undocumented immigrant" as he usually does, drawing the attention of immigrant advocates.

Groups such as Immigration Impact and Latina Lista are asking whether the subtle shift in language represents a change in commitment.

Jorge Ramos of Univision asked the president about his use of terminology during Obama's Sept. 20 media blitz.

Jorge Ramos: Now, in your speech to Congress you used the words “illegal immigrants.” However, and I remember very clearly, during the campaign you were very careful to use the words “undocumented immigrants”. Why the change? You said words matter. Now, why do you choose to use the language that is being used by ... those who criticize immigrants.

President Obama: Well, keep in mind what I was addressing. I was addressing misinformation by the other side that was engaging in scare tactics. So I was essentially quoting them. I was saying, “for those of you who are saying that illegal immigrants are going to be covered under this plan,” I said that’s not true. Right? So I’m using their language because I was addressing the misinformation that they are providing. And I was speaking directly to an audience, the American people, who because of this misinformation, I think actually were very responding oftentimes in a negative way.
-- (Translated transcript courtesy of Immigration Impact.)

Frankly, President Obama is in a no-win situation. Words like illegal immigrant and undocumented immigrant carry quite a bit of political baggage. And as we in the newspaper business have learned, whatever term he uses will be used against him by one side or the other.

It'll be interesting to watch how he addresses those in the country illegally from now on.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

The term "illegal immigrant" is no good, you have to use the term "illegal alien". "undocumented" is a nonstarter since the "illegal" part has to be there to fully describe what we are dealing with.

Anonymous said...

Huh? I read this post and scratch my head. What the heck are we supposed to call them? The "people other than who are here legally?". The "people who should do something about their status so they can join those in the country legally?".

What a load of post-modern crap.

Anonymous said...

During these economic times it is really stupid to push for illegal aliens to be able to stay in this country. First, they are here illegally and that should end the conversation. Secondly, they are a burden upon our school systems, welfare, health care systems, etc. And don't try to tell me they are hard working people who pay their own way. I am around too many of them who look at every way possible to sponge off this country.

Anonymous said...

We can just dismiss this comment from the President as this is apparently just chatter, you know just like he called everyone else's opinion over the last few months.

Anonymous said...

It is absolutely disgusting to allow any of these illegal invaders to remain. It is a slap in the face to those that paid their dues in diligence in progressing to their goals through the established procedures.

Illegals and their supporters are declaring squatters rights, while willingly and laughingly breaking the law.

Advocating amnesty and health care and all the other insane left side BS defies logic to anyone who cares about this country and not "agendas"

It is equally disgusting while the democrat controlled congress debates how much to charge those born here, and those have become legal citizens how much in the amount of dues you will have to pay to remain a legal, lawful citizen, their is without doubt a hidden clause that provides health care to illegals.


WHY?

Algernon said...

I choose to use the words



ILLEGAL INVADERS.

Anonymous said...

Deport anchor babies playing in the NFL... like Tony Romo (aka Antonio Ramiro Romo) and Jeff Garcia (aka Fernando Garcia) send them to wherever they came from!!!!

too said...

Thats Obama, mama...."I will say whatever I have to say to get what I want' and then the game changes....know what I mean???....

Sick & Tired of Illegals said...

Obama was referring to them as illegal immigrants because THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE!

Enough already about illegal immigrants getting support from any politician or organized group. They deserve NOTHING except to be sent back in the direction from which they came, whether that be north or south of the border and they should be required to take their anchor babies with them, regardless of age.

Why does our government (local, state and federal) continue the "don't ask, don't tell, look the other way" mentality??? It is NOT FAIR to American citizens and legal immigrants.

I hope anti-illegal immigration groups jump on this opportunity to point out that Obama was just spilling the truth.

Obama, now that you've called it what it is, do something about getting them the he11 out of OUR country.

To me, this is one of the most important issues our country faces. The future of America (or will it be Amexica before its over?) depends on how our government handles these ILLEGAL INVADERS!

Seal the border up tight and get a handle on the overpopulation of this country. Starting deporting upon discovery!!!

Anonymous said...

Franco, have you ever done a story that highlights the negative side of illegal immigrants???

I don't think so. How blatently biased can you be? Its no wonder you get alot of criticism - all you ever write about is in favor of illegal immigration - absolutely no mention of the other view.

The majority of Americans and legal citizens feel that illegal immigrants should be deported asap.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it would be more interesting for the Observer to do an online poll asking "Are you in favor of illegal immigrants being in our country?" Simple question, with yes and no answers. The NOs will speak loud and clear.

Anonymous said...

Is this Franco guy illegal himself? Obama continues to dig his own grave with his irresponsible policies, agendas and "words." We are now looking at a one-term President, a la Jimmy Carter. People can put up with only so much buffoonery and liberal double-speak before they rise up and poke the guy in the eyes like one of the Three Stooges. Obama, Pelosi and Reid...

Anonymous said...

Per chance Obama is himself an illegal alien. I would bet on it.

Mary said...

I'm glad his words more accurately described the people living in the US illegally.

slick willie clinton said...

depends on what the definition of "is", is.

Anonymous said...

I prefer the term "criminal scumbags". It makes no reference to their legal status, and is therefore, politically correct.

Algernon said...

senor Franco....?

stop lolly gagging and do a formal poll in this column about what the majority, of lawful legal tax paying citizens of Mecklenburg county suggest we do with those that are not lawful legal tax paying citizens.

Anonymous said...

I hear words like "get the hell out of OUR country", but as far as I remember, whites in this country stole this land from the NATIVE AMERICANS. THIS ISN'T YOUR COUNTRY. YOUR COUNTRY IS EUROPE, NOW GO THE HELL BACK!

JED said...

Anonymous September 30, 2009 7:07 AM



Hey, moron, EUROPE is not a country.

Maybe, illegals aren't the only ones that need an education?

Vicente Duque said...

Catholic Magazine "First Things" :

America's housing market collapsed because of the Lack of Babies with two parents at home. America is the leper that still has some fingers - Depression Economics

How Demography produces Depression. Americans won't go to Disneyland !! ( Because of lack of children and money )

Catholic Magazine "First Things" ... And a Super Conservative Intelligent Reaganite Economist. They weep a lot because of the Bad Economy and rant a lot against Liberals, Democratic Party and Mr Obama.

After lots of weeping for the bad use of Economics, Economist David P. Goldman still has faith in Conservatism and Reagonomics. However he doesn't hate Immigrants or Third Worlders and find them useful to cure many economic ailments of the "First World".

America is the leper that still has some fingers !!

Firsth Things Magazine
Demographics & Depression
By David P. Goldman
May 2009

Demographics & Depression

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2009/05/demographics--depression-1243457089

In our site MILENIALS.COM you can find more information about these problems of Reproduction, Demography and Economics. And the relation to Immigration :

Milenials.com

Vicente Duque

Anonymous said...

Let's boycott the Dallas Cowboys... I can't believe we are letting an anchor baby (Antonio Romo) to be the quarterback of America's football team!!!!

Peregrino said...

I have been distracted from this blog for a while; it is nice to see that ignorance still reigns supreme among the nativists.

Between 45% (Pew Hispanic Center) and 65% (US conference of Bishops) of undocumented immigrants entered this country legally, and overstayed their visas. These overstays do not violate criminal law; they are contractual violations.

No matter what status the undocumented immigrant holds, the US Supreme Court was very specific about the use of criminal law and the criminal justice system in immigration cases:
“a deportation proceeding is a purely civil action to determine the eligibility to remain in this country, not to punish an unlawful entry….”

And so even if the unlawful entry is a violation of law, the Supremes do not seem to support the idea of affording the international migrant access to criminal law.

It may help to remember that the difference between illegal border crossing and overstaying a visa is the difference between speeding and having an car inspection expire. Neither makes the driver an "illegal driver". In some rare cases, these drivers actually retain their basic humanity and are fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters.

It seems to me that the attempt by many of these commentators is not to [re]define a status, but rather to dehumanize a human being.

Anonymous said...

You need an ID to board an airplane, cash a check, use a credit card and, even, enter many downtown office building. However, you don’t need an ID to apply for Medicaid and potentially receive thousands of dollars in government benefits. And it doesn’t look like you’ll have to show an ID anytime in the near future, either:

Grassley Amendment #C8

Purpose:

An amendment to require presentation of identification in applying for Medicaid benefits

Description of Amendment:

The amendment amends Title 19 of the Social Security Act to require an applicant (or the parent or guardian in the case of a child under the age of 18) to present at the time of application for Medicaid or CHIP benefits government-issued photo identification and that identification must be authenticated with the issuing agency.

Republicans

CHUCK GRASSLEY – yes, ORRIN G. HATCH – yes, OLYMPIA J. SNOWE – yes, JON KYL – yes, JIM BUNNING – yes, MIKE CRAPO – yes, PAT ROBERTS – yes, JOHN ENSIGN – yes, MIKE ENZI – yes, JOHN CORNYN – yes

Democrats

MAX BAUCUS – no, JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER – no, KENT CONRAD – no, JEFF BINGAMAN – no, JOHN F. KERRY – no, BLANCHE L. LINCOLN – no, RON WYDEN – no, CHARLES E. SCHUMER – no, DEBBIE STABENOW -(no vote) MARIA CANTWELL – no, BILL NELSON – no, ROBERT MENENDEZ – no, THOMAS CARPER – no,

Not Agreed to (10-13)

Fraud in Medicaid and Medicare is estimated at around $100 billion a year. Actually proving that someone is who they say they are when applying for benefits would surely trim at least some of that.

Vicente Duque said...

The Housing Bubble and Disneyworld without children, only centenarians in wheelchairs :

The world has seen lots of these bubbles and they return periodically, with millions of people becoming crazy because they believe that they are rich or on the path to Great Riches.

Tulip Mania was a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for bulbs of the recently introduced tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then suddenly collapsed causing the ruin of thousands of Dutch speculators.

At the peak of tulip mania in February 1637, tulip contracts sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman. It is generally considered the first recorded speculative bubble (or economic bubble). The term "tulip mania" is now often used metaphorically to refer to any large economic bubble (when asset prices deviate from intrinsic values).

I acknowledge that what I publish about Economics and the Economies of the World is exaggerated, even extremist and fanatic. Perhaps it is a big desire for illustration, then I paint things uglier than they are.

But I can't stop thinking in Mathusalem Economics, when a nation like Japan becomes very old with few children .... Japan is the classsic example of a nation that doesn't reproduce ( they are much below zero in population growth ) and doesn't accept immigrants because they fear Immigration for their Culture. Population in Japan is contracting at an ugly pace.

Welcome to Disneyworld for Centenarians and Nonagenarias in Wheelchairs.

More Mathusalem Elucubrations and Weeping for unborn Babies ( this is not proLife, this is proDollars ) :

Milenials.com

Vicente Duque

Anonymous said...

Who is this Vicente Duque and why does he keep spamming Franco's column? or could it be Franco Vicente Duque Ordonez?

Vicente Duque said...

How to answer to Trolls in Forums and Thugs in the Street - Life is too short to spend with such lower forms of life

I have always published about Politics, Racial Politics or Murder and Sadism, the hottest candent subjects that attract the incendiary madmen and mentally perturbed. People with intense inferiority complexes and lots of Family Dysfunctionality ( of which they are not guilty )

I have suffered the most "horrible" tortures by Trolls, probably adolescents or mentally deranged people. That are unable to publish an interesting topic but are always looking for a fight or an underdog to play the bully.

I have also suffered threats against my physical and psychological integrity, and challenges for street fights ... In Internet and in Real Life....

Many years have taught me not to answer to the trolls and to the threats or challenges to street fights. ... I keep myself at home or in a secure place....

Dave Carnegie of "How to win friends and influence people" said ( in the 1950s or before ) : "The best way to win a discussion is to avoid it".

This is Great Wisdom.....

And I can add this : We have to love ourselves and respect ourselves .... If we have spent a lot of time in Libraries reading books on History, Politics, Novels, Fiction, Science ... they why should we discuss things with perfect ignorants and fools, that are also Psychological Monsters filled with Hate, Failure and the Frustration of a LOSER ??

There is another thought that crosses my mind continuously : We are becoming old, minute by minute, and life is very short.

We can not spend our life answering to trolls .... If life is so short, then it should be used in something productive, something constructive, something cultural. It may make money for us or it can make us more cultural or kind or humane.

The worst use of time is dicussing with ignorants or fools, or with people that are in deep Psychological trouble.....

They would end up going to a gym to kill Women, or to a Museum to kill Blacks, or they will gather with a gang of thugs to kill an Immigrant by kicking him in the head while laying unconscious on the floor.

Raciality.com

Vicente Duque