Ghoul’s Glossary: “Migrants” or “Refugees” or “Anchor Babies”?

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Migrants: Those who voluntarily go to another country to live and work, seeking a better life.

Refugees: Those who are forced out of their homes, because of political persecution or natural disaster or a chronically bad economy. and have no choice but to try to make a new life elsewhere.

Illegals: (N.B. slang, usage error, since human beings are born with certain inalienable rights, are made in the image of God, and cannot be illegal.) Actions can be illegal, people cannot.

Climate Change: No entry found.

Far right wing politics: The conviction held by losers that their country never needs new blood or talent, despite their own political staleness and complete incompetence.

Mediterranean Sea: Graveyard for desperate refugees if the European Union won’t police it with rescue vessels.

Anchor baby: Demeaning term for natural-born citizen of the United States one or more parents of which are not US citizens. That Americans are those born on US soil keeps the US from becoming like Gulf Arab oil states, which lack labor protections for their temporary guest workers, who almost never become citizens (in Gulf states citizens are a small minority of residents, enjoying special privileges that imported temporary workers do not).

Racism: Generalizing about very large groups of people on the basis of a small number of individuals.

Donald Trump: See “racism.”


Related video:

The Nation (New Zealand): “What’s changed recently to create a flood of refugees into Europe?” – UN Development Programme Administrator Helen Clark says the fighting in Syria is at the heart of Europe’s refugee problems.

8 Responses

  1. “Anchor Babies”: incompatible, dangerous qualifier leading to ” Unanchor law”, to national lawlessness, anarchy.

  2. Cali Lady

    I’m thinking we in US have been watching too much Walking Dead & forgetting the walking live & dangerous riding who need our help

  3. Humans are certainly not “illegal”, but their behavior in traversing national boundaries can be illegal. If not, then national boundaries have no meaning. If we are to throw our doors open to any, we must then throw them open to all. As heat goes to cold, poverty will gravitate to wealth, so the impoverished, hoping for a better life, will be willing to take the risk of being cast as pariahs to escape to an unfamiliar but wealthy land. If America and Europe are to become immense welfare agencies (immigrant labor depends mainly on a low-wage service jobs, which is not to say the children of immigrants will never make material or even great socioeconomic contributions – because many will), then there are many risks associated with open borders. I’m not quite ready to take that step; it has too many unknown economic and social challenges. That a trend has momentum doesn’t justify it.

    • Illegal immigration is not black and white. The US deports something like 400,000 people a year; that’s an enormous operation– 4 million every decade. It is not as if the agencies are sitting on their hands. But for children brought by parents, whose whole life and identity was formed here, there should be a path to citizenship. And even for adults who have subsequently made a contribution. At the moment they have a choice of hiding or self-deporting. There needs to be something in the middle, as even Jeb Bush acknowledges.

    • “If we are to throw our doors open to any, we must then throw them open to all.”
      But we have thrown doors open to “any”, so you’re saying we have no choice between totally open and totally closed?

  4. I have read a lot of your work professor and it s all serious stuff. Nice to see you have a sense of humour as well.

  5. Legalize marijuana/drugs and many/most of the reasons why people flee Mexico/Central America and run to America will cease to exist.

    Increase the minimum wage in America to at least $15.00 an hour and eliminate the jobs that American business claims Americans won’t do.

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