My particular "favorite" used by MAGA folks is "chain migration." They carefully avoid calling it what it really is: family-based immigration. The party of family values seems very intent these days on keep families separate.

They also falsely portray "chain migration" as an easy ticket to invite cousins and nephews into the country; it is anything but easy, it still takes years, and only direct relatives qualify.

The idea is the mislead the people on the fence into support policies that are, let's face it, rooted in something more than the nuances of border policy.

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Nativists tend more toward dysphemisms than euphemisms, but linguistically I'm sure they behave the same way. My fave example of the euphemism/dysphemism treadmill is "your dog went to the bathroom on my living room rug." As soon as anyone could utter that sentence and be understood, the phrase "go to the bathroom" had lost all value as a euphemism. No longer evoking any image of anyone physically getting up and actually going anywhere, the phrase was now just a more verbose synonym for "excrete." We're starting to see the same with "undocumented," as the word gets used outside of the immigration context. Cops often refer to suspected drug dealers as "undocumented pharmacies" with only a tinge of irony. Say it enough times, and over time even that tinge vanishes; soon "undocumented" is just a synonym for "illegal," complete with all its baggage.

We're not quite there yet but soon will be, I think.

I would quibble with the notion that "illegal immigrant" was ever a euphemism for "illegal alien," though. Of course "illegal" can't be a euphemism for itself, but neither can "immigrant" be euphemism for "alien," the words just mean different things. By definition, anyone in the country who's not a citizen or national is an alien but only those intending to stay indefinitely are immigrants. That said, nativists do get testy when others use the word "immigrant" to describe anyone they haven't personally vetted as legal. In their patriotically (but not factually) correct lexicon, no illegal alien *can* be an immigrant. Merriam-Webster begs to differ, and the United States Code really does. The term implies nothing about legality, one way or the other, and per the US Code, most aliens who are *not* here legally, holding a particular non-immigrant visa, are presumed immigrants.

Another common dysphemism among the patriotically (but not factually) correct lexicon is "criminal," not in reference to those tried or convicted of any crimes, but to anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally. I hear that one from the nativists every day. The dumbest among them defend the term on the specious notion that anything illegal *must* be a crime, while the smarter ones point to the one actual crime half our illegals did actually commit at some point in the past: entering the country unlawfully as an alien in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1325. Most were not caught at the border or tried with any crime, and the statute of limitations ran out years ago, but no matter. Charged or not, they committed a crime, so dammit, they're criminals! Yet 99.9% of these same self-styled patriots blow a gasket when anyone calls Donald Trump a "criminal" despite him only having been charged with 88 felonies, not (yet) convicted of any. Go figure.

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What's the debate all about again? I forgot, but I did learn a whole bunch of new terms.

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