One of the most thoughtful articles I have read on the issue of immigration is by George Lakoff of the Rockford Institute. In "The Framing of Immigration," he examines the language we use to discuss the issue. We use linguistic expressions that manipulate the way we, and others, think. "Illegal immigration" is by no means a neutral term. Some examples:
Instead of thinking in terms of "illegal aliens" (invaders) coming willfully to America to take jobs and resources away from real Americans whose ancestors went through the proper channels to enter this country legally (NOT), Lakoff suggests other ways to think of the issue -- did U.S. foreign policy place or keep in power oppressive regimes that forced people to flee? Have international trade agreements exacerbated people's desire to flee their homelands?
If, in this new global economy, capital is going to move freely from country to country, crossing borders with impunity, should people and labor be able to move at least somewhat more freely, to go where globalization takes the jobs? In short, the "immigration problem" could just as easily be seen as a "globalization problem," Lakoff points out, or even as a "humanitarian crisis" -- the mass migration and displacement of 800,000 people a year from their homelands: