Marquette begs students not to use 'the i-word' for illegals

Zachary Petrizzo
Virginia Senior Campus Correspondent

  • Two separate departments Marquette University each urge students to "drop the i-word" when referring to illegal immigrants.
  • Marquette says the term "illegal immigrant" is "inaccurate" and "dehumanizing," and students should instead use terms such as "undocumented" or "unauthorized" to help create a "safe space" for illegal immigrant students on campus.
  • Marquette University’s department of “Diversity and Inclusion” is encouraging undergraduates to “drop the ‘i-word’” when referring to illegal immigrants.

    According to the “Undocumented Student Terminology” published on the school’s website, “not only is the term ‘illegal’ inaccurate, it is dehumanizing.”

    "These terms can have a dehumanizing impact by effectively rendering the individual and their entire existence as ‘illegal.’"   

    [RELATED: UCLA hosts ‘Undocumented Unafraid’ forum for DACA supporters]

    “When referring to an individual who is residing in the United Stated without authorization from the federal government, we would encourage you to drop the ‘i-word’ in favor of terms such as ‘undocumented’ or ‘unauthorized’ immigrant,” the university states.

    Likewise, the school explains that the acceptable way to refer to immigrants with no domestic legal status is by using words such as “undocumented” or “unauthorized.”

    “Many people also live in households that are considered ‘mixed status,’” Marquette explains. “A mixed status family is one in which at least one member is residing legally in the United States and at least one member is not. Often, this includes children born in the United States to unauthorized immigrant parents.”

    In addition to the Diversity and Inclusion website, the school’s College of Education website likewise suggests that students create a “safe space” for illegals and “deal directly with any derogatory language or behaviors from peers that are rooted in condescending attitudes towards immigrants and use these as teachable moments.”

    [RELATED: College Republicans cause panic with immigration event]

    The College of Education provides an extensive summary of immigration-related research and statistics, including what it calls “Stress Related to Immigration Status in Students: A Brief Guide for Schools.”

    “This brief guide is designed to provide an overview of detention, deportation, and other immigration status-related stress and its effect on children and families, as well as suggestions for how school personnel can support families in the context of this unique stressor,” the website explains. 

    The university also notes that “school personnel can support students in the classroom” by being “observant and [establishing] trust,” recognizing “the importance of language,” showing “support,” and more.

    [RELATED: College trains students to ‘document immigration raids’]

    According to the website, “recognizing the importance of language” means that instructors should “be sensitive in their use of language, favoriting terminology such as ‘undocumented/ unauthorized immigrants’ and making known that use of the terms ‘illegals’ or ‘illegal immigrants/aliens’ will not be tolerated in their classrooms.”

    "‘Illegal alien’ is not a legal term and is not an accurate descriptor as the status of being present in the U.S. without a visa is not actually a criminal violation,” it says, echoing the guidance from the Diversity and Inclusion website. “More importantly, these terms can have a dehumanizing impact by effectively rendering the individual and their entire existence as ‘illegal.’”

    Marquette did not immediately respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment.

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    Zachary Petrizzo

    Zachary Petrizzo

    Virginia Senior Campus Correspondent
    Zachary Petrizzo is a Virginia Senior Campus Correspondent, and reports liberal bias and abuse on campus for Campus Reform. He studies Government at George Mason University.
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