Univision’s Jorge Ramos Whines About Biden Describing Illegals As ‘Illegals’

In a recent opinion column, Univision anchor and Senior Editorial Advisor to the CEO Jorge Ramos complained, yet again, about the use of the word “illegal” to describe people who are in the country illegally. This is a new version of a column written several times before, but that begins to acknowledge the realities of the immigration debate in 2024.

Another twist is that Ramos seemingly absolves President Joe Biden from using the term during his State of the Union address. In his column, titled “No human being is illegal”, Ramos writes:

What is really important is not that the president of the United States referred to an undocumented migrant as an “illegal.” What does worry is that this comment normalizes the language, attitudes and policies of the most anti-immigration groups in the country.

It is true that Biden sent Congress, on his first day as president, a proposal to legalize millions. But when the principal promoter of an immigration reform starts to use the words of his enemies, it signals that things are not going well.

Biden used the word “illegal” during his recent State of the Union address, when he referred to the Venezuelan immigrant accused of killing Georgia student Laken Riley. The next day he said the man was “technically not supposed to be here.” And he told NBC later that he “should not have used the word. It’s undocumented.”

The correction is welcome. 

Ramos has long sought to be the language police when it comes to immigration, and how illegal immigrants are addressed. What is interesting from this column is the shift away from Biden. Ramos is supposed to be the one to stand opposed to power- that’s been his whole gimmick since Donald Trump came down the gilded escalator. Had Trump said it, the tone of the column would be different. I know, because he wrote a version of this column in 2018, titled “People are not illegal”:

With Trump in the White House, the anti-immigrant cli­mate in the U.S. has changed for the worse. There are frequent verbal attacks on foreigners, coupled with the perception that any undocumented person can be deported at any time, regardless of past compliance. Further, several local police forces, operating with the explicit support of their respective mayors, have begun to act like ICE agents.

The sense of fear is palpable.

Different president, different tone. Here, it’s more adversarial towards Trump. Biden, in turn, almost gets a pass for saying “illegal” and quickly apologizing. Ramos also concedes that the open-borders side of the ongoing immigration argument has lost the debate, and that is a first.

Ramos wrote an identical column in 2012, titled: “Nobody is illegal”. Here, again, the language policing:

I have no doubt that this path will eventually be created for the millions of workers who contribute so much to the American economy and the nation’s well-being. The country was wonderfully generous to me when I arrived; I hope that it will be equally generous to those who came after me, regardless of their status.

But to move forward we must win this war of words. We must not allow the national conversation on immigration to be dominated by those who would label an entire group of people as criminals and who say that establishing a future for millions of immigrants is “amnesty.” Changing reality starts with changing our language. The first step is accepting that no one is illegal.

The same self-righteousness, the same references to Elie Weisel, this column seems to write itself every six years. But Ramos knows that the tide has shifted, and that the public has soured on lax immigration enforcement policies as a result of the ongoing border disaster. 

Hopefully, the immigration issue is resolved by the time the next column rolls around.

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