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1 single concrete example trumps all theory

A while ago, I wrote a piece where I pointed out that the Boston Globe appears to have a policy that illegal aliens should, in nearly every circumstance, be referred to as "undocumented immigrants" or just simply "immigrants." I was castigated by a few folks who went back and did a bit of statistical analysis of the Globe's stories and said I was full of it.

Well, I knew that the Boston Globe would come through with me -- they've almost never failed to live down to my expectations -- and lo and behold, they published this little blurb today: (reprinted in its entirety)

Immigrant sentenced in bribery case

January 24, 2007


A federal judge sentenced an undocumented immigrant who operated an Allston cleaning company to five years in prison for harboring other undocumented immigrants and bribing an immigration official. US District Judge Morris E. Lasker also ordered Jose Neto, 40, to forfeit to the government a multifamily residence he owns in Allston. Neto, who employed 50 people at Spectro Cleaning Services, offered a customs agent $20,000 in September 2004 to get green cards for himself and his wife, then paid him another $147,000 for green cards for friends and to obtain the release of others from federal custody.

(Emphasis added)

I guess he was just bribing the government officials Americans can't be bothered to bribe...

I have a few questions after reading the story:

1) The story implies that the government official accepted the bribe. Has the customs agent been charged? Tried? Sentenced?

2) After the completion of his sentence, will he be deported?

3) Since this was a blurb, not a full story, did it not occur to the writer that "illegal alien" has 12 letters, while "undocumented immigrant" has 21? In an article where space is at a premium, why use a phrase that is 75% longer than another that will serve as well, in addition to being more accurate?

In my earlier piece, I came to the conclusion that the Globe prefers "illegal alien" over "undocumented immigrant" or just plain "immigrant" only when it can make a Republican look bad. In this case, there isn't a political angle to it, so "undocumented immigrant" won out.

Enjoy your time in prison, Mr. Neto, and please don't hurry back after you're released.

Comments (10)

From henceforth, all house ... (Below threshold)

From henceforth, all house burglars shall be referred to as 'undocumented occupants', shoplifters will be referred to as having 'undocumented discounts', and car thieves will have 'undocumented titles'.

'Undocumented': It makes everything smell better!

Substitute Oppressed for Un... (Below threshold)

Substitute Oppressed for Undocumented and you'll see from where this derives.

Yawn. Yet another... (Below threshold)


Yet another boring diatribe by Jay Tea. With all the problems (most initiated and/or created by our moron-in-chief) this country has, and this is the best that you right-wing fools can come up with? Pathetic.

You're becoming laughingstocks.

Oppressed Immigrants? Most... (Below threshold)

Oppressed Immigrants? Most of them don't seem to oppressed lately, or depressed for that matter. The only oppressors seem to be the employers that hire them illegaly at illegal wages and strive to keep them in bondage to their company.

If enforcing the law is seen as oppressive, I don't think that counts since the law is very seldom enforced.

I do prefer illegal immigrant over illegal alien. The alien part has to many sci-fi connotations to me. Besides we know they are humans, of various other nationalties, so that hardly makes them aliens.

Maggy, nice drive-by. No su... (Below threshold)
Duncan Avatar:

Maggy, nice drive-by. No substance, just flimsy ad hominem attacks and complete dismissal of the multi-culturist poltical correctness displayed by many mainstream media outlets. Mike's comment has examples were using the word undocumented to describe lawbreakers is just ridiculous, just like in the illegal immigration case. You'd rather just blame Bush for all the world's ills, even those you really want to pin on him and the Rovian Neocon Cabal running the world. Unhinged my friend. Unhinged.

_Mike_Great rebutt... (Below threshold)


Great rebutting examples!

Hmmm, would a deserter be an "undocumented civilian"?

Would the person "imitating a police officer" be an "undocumented police officer"?

Would all murderers become "undocumented executioners"?

Would all those who drive/fly/hunt/fish (/etc.) without a license become "undocumented drivers/pilots/hunters/fishers"?

The beauty of maggysturn's ... (Below threshold)

The beauty of maggysturn's comments (or whatever name he/she/it is using today) is that he/she/it can just plug it into any posting, and it's equally germane (or non-germane) -- it's so generic and unrelated to the topic.

Sometimes I wonder if he/she/it just cuts and pastes it...


Perhaps maggysturn has been... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Perhaps maggysturn has been smoking undocumented cigarettes again...

Here theywith this PC poppy... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Here theywith this PC poppycock i mean its like them using BCE BEFORE COMMON ERA and CE COMMON ERA or the term GUNMAN to discribe a robber or GUNNED DOWN to mean SHOT and i can remember when the illegal aleins were called WETBACKS

My question to maggysturn i... (Below threshold)

My question to maggysturn is: If you are so bored, then why not find something that better occupies your time?






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