January 8, 2015
This is a report on the evolving euphemisms in the immigration field (which I have dubbed EEIF, pronounced "ee - ee - if").
When I was younger, General Joseph W. Swing, then INS Commissioner, talked of "drying out the wets", meaning the conversion of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants from Mexico into participants in the Bracero program, a specialized nonimmigrant worker program that offered few protections to the farm workers involved, but which was recognized legally.
The regrettable term "wets" (from the Spanish "mojados"), short for "wetbacks", was eventually replaced by illegal alien, and that, in turn, has morphed to unlawful migrant, undocumented immigrant, unauthorized migrant, and more recently into undocumented worker and sometimes, in the Obama White House, to just migrant or immigrant. Read more...