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Dear Editor:
A headline in the Feb. 18, 2003 issue of Immigration Daily reads "INS Repatriates 89 Illegal Aliens to Nigeria." Even though the INS, the BIA and the federal courts frequently use the term "illegal alien," I believe those of us in the field should discipline ourselves to use other terms, such as "undocumented" or "unlawfully present." It may sound corny, but truly, no human being is illegal. By using the phrase "illegal alien" we only buy into the Big Lie, that non-citizens are somehow less worthy. (And I don't think my view is knee-jerk "political correctness," e.g., using the phony term "female circumcision" versus the truth - female genital mutilation - in a mistaken effort not to "disrespect" certain cultures: as Alice Walker said best, "torture is not culture.")

Daniel M. Kowalski, Editor-in-Chief
Bender's Immigration Bulletin



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