Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (sometimes offensive) A person who is within the boundaries of a political state without the authorization of the government of that state; a national of another country who has entered or stayed without permission.
- The use of "illegal" to describe a person, rather than an action a person has undertaken, is often regarded as offensive.
- (person within a state without authorization): illegal, undocumented alien; unlawful non-citizen (Australia)
- ^ Charles Garcia, Why 'illegal immigrant' is a slur (CNN): "When you label someone an "illegal alien" or "illegal immigrant" or just plain "illegal," you are effectively saying the individual, as opposed to the actions the person has taken, is unlawful. The terms imply the very existence of an unauthorized migrant in America is criminal. In this country, there is still a presumption of innocence that requires a jury to convict someone of a crime. If you don't pay your taxes, are you an illegal? What if you get a speeding ticket? A murder conviction? No. You're still not an illegal. Even alleged terrorists and child molesters aren't labeled illegals."
- ^