illegal immigrant

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illegal immigrant (plural illegal immigrants)

  1. (countable, sometimes offensive) Someone who has immigrated into a country by bypassing customs and immigration controls.
    • 2013 September 2, Katherine Timpf, “UCLA student government looks to ban term ‘illegal immigrant’”, Campus Reform:
      The undergraduate student government at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday calling for the end of the use of the phrase “illegal immigrant,” saying it violates human rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. / “The racially derogatory I-word endangers basic human rights including the presumption of innocence and the right to due process guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution,” the resolution states. / The resolution came in response to undocumented students who had “expressed their concerns and fear with the recent appointment of Janet Napolitano, former US Secretary of Homeland Security,” as the new University of California president.

Usage notes[edit]

The use of "illegal" to describe a person rather than an action is often regarded as offensive.[1]



Coordinate terms[edit]



  1. ^