I am listening to Peter Boyles talk about state Senator Chris Romer's bill, which will go before a legislative committee today. The measure would allow illegal immigrants to get in-state tuition at state schools (if they have attended a Colorado high school for at least three years, and have graduated or gotten their GED in Colorado, and are applying for citizenship -- and have gotten into the college).
Not surprisingly, Boyles doesn't like the idea (I do), and he doesn't like the fact that the Denver Post avoids using the word "illegal" when talking about the proposal. I know I couldn't change Boyles's mind about the bill; I doubt I could change the Post's way of describing it. But both bill supporters and Post editors might want to consider these words offered by Gustavo Arellano, the country's most popular Latino columnist -- a man whose father was an illegal (he arrived in this country in the trunk of a Chevy):
"I use "illegal immigrant" to make a point," Gustavo writes in ""Ask a Mexican," his weekly column. "As it stands, it's the most moderate term to describe those millions of folks who live in this country in violation of immigration law. Think about it: Know Nothings love to use 'illegal alien' because it allows them to describe Mexicans as an invading menace. Aztlanistas, on the otra hand, use 'undocumented immigrant,' as gratuitous a bit of P.C. pendejada as Chicano/a. For leftists to avoid using 'illegal' in describing someone's immigration status implies that something is shameful about the status, and we should all therefore avoid using the word. Not this Mexican. On that note, I'll always use 'illegal immigrant' and 'illegals' with pride, and turn the question around to one asked long ago by the iconic Chicago Chicano punk group Los Crudos: Ilegal, ¿y qué?"
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