John Hinderacker has a post over at PowerLine looking at the question of whether Ilhan Omar’s statements are the result of a lack of familiarity with English (as Nancy Pelosi has suggested) or whether she is using a form of Progressive Newspeak. Specifically, Hinderacker examines Omar’s complaint that President Trump is dehumanizing people by referring to them as “illegal aliens.”
In point of fact and as a matter of law, the President is correct in his language. The law [8 U.S.C § 1101(a)(3)] defines alien as “any person not a citizen or national of the United States.” It’s illegal for such persons to be in the United States unless properly admitted as residents (with green cards) or visitors/refugees (with visas). Aliens who are in the country illegally are breaking our laws, they are criminals, and they are subject to legal sanctions, including deportation.
There are two possibilities here. One is that Omar is poorly educated and is unfamiliar with the common English word “alien.” That could be. The second possibility is that she, like so many liberals, is trying to bully the rest of us into adopting their vocabulary, even when it does not accord with common usage, common sense, or, as here, the law.
Normally, I’d be inclined to shrug and say, “Embrace the power of AND,” but I believe the balance of the evidence weighs on the second choice. That opinion is strengthened by Omar’s repeated misstatements of the facts and by statements made by her allies among the current freshman class in the House of Representatives such as She Guevara (aka Alexandria ¡Ocasio-Cortez!).
No, we aren’t dehumanizing persons who law enforcement has probable cause to believe have crossed our borders illegally by detaining them until they can be processed by our immigration and legal systems. No, we are not placing them in concentration camps.
Dachau was the National Socialists first concentration camp, opened in 1933. While it was not nearly as brutal as the industrial scale death camps run by the SS (or perhaps as Stalin’s gulag), it was a place of terror, torture, and forced labor for the internal enemies of the state. None of the facilities holding detained immigrants here in the U. S. are remotely analogous to places like Dachau.
I don’t believe politicians like Omar and ¡Ocasio-Cortez! are stupid. I think that they’ve been rewarded for making outrageous claims that fit the narratives believed by enough voters in their districts to get them elected and that they believe they can get away with such loose talk on a national stage. I also believe that their claims will become more radical as they react poorly to fact-based pushback.