Lauren R. Harrison
August 21, 2012
A small group of immigrants gathered in Woodbury Monday to protest the use of the word “illegal” to describe those who have entered the United States without documentation.
“By saying illegal, they’re assuming that we broke a criminal law,” said Jackeline Saavedra, 27, of Bay Shore, a Touro Law Center student who identified herself as undocumented. “Not everybody enters illegally.”
Coordinators said they prefer the phrase “undocumented immigrant.”
Osman Canales, 23, an immigrant rights advocate in Huntington who organized the protest, said using the word “illegal” criminalizes a whole community. “It’s a racist word against our community, so we’re just here to raise awareness,” he said.