Professor Jacobson noted that we lost “illegal immigrant” and “illegal immigration” to the language police, especially when the Los Angeles Times also decided to drop the term “undocumented immigrant”.

A nearby university has followed suit, as its student government seems comprised of language police members.

The UCLA Undergraduate Students Association wants the term “illegal immigrant” banned because, its members say, the phrase is a violation of the human rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

Last week’s resolution emphasizes the student council’s desire to prevent journalists, media organizations and various campus partners from identifying illegal aliens as “illegal immigrants,” explains the Daily Bruin, UCLA’s campus rag.

The resolution flatly states that “illegal immigrant” is “racially derogatory language.” Such language “has historically bolstered the foundation for racially harmful actions including racial profiling practices, punitive policies targeting socially marginalized groups, hate crimes and violence,” the resolution proclaims.

“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 text also declares.

The resolution does not explain how a term describing people from other countries who don’t have the right consular paperwork is racist.

The UCLA student council’s resolution is largely a reaction on behalf of illegal immigrant students who have “expressed their concerns and fear with the recent appointment” of new University of California president Janet Napolitano.

Napolitano was previously the Secretary of Homeland Security. She oversaw the deportation of many illegal immigrants.

The Daily Bruin article discussing the resolution can be found here.